Management system guidance

7.0 Support

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7.2 Competence

This requirement is comparable to ISO 9001:2008 Clause 6.2.1 - Human Resources and Clause 6.2.2 - Competence, training and awareness but additionally, you should check whether your organization takes action to address competency issues whilst checking that they were effective.

Organizations should establish a process for assessing existing staff competencies against changing business needs and prevailing trends. Check for evidence that all staff which work under your organization’s control are competent, and that evidence continuing competence is maintained as documented information in accordance Clause 7.5. Maintain documented information such as a skills matrix; training records, personnel files, CVs, job descriptions.

Competency-based training programmes can vary greatly and be as unique as the facility and personnel working at a facility. The distinct operations of the facility and the level of education, training, and experience of the personnel determine the necessary elements of a competency-based training programme. To establish and maintain a competency-based training programme, the following steps must be taken:

  1. Identify competency-based training needs;
  2. Prepare the training materials;
  3. Conduct and evaluate the training.

How does your organization determine the necessary competence of person(s) doing work under its control that affect its environmental, safety and quality performance?

Ensure that those competencies are possessed by the people doing the work under your organization’s control including: the organization’s own personnel, contractors and outsourced personnel working either on site or off site.

Training alone is not sufficient to demonstrate competence; this must be demonstrated through tests, observations, results, etc. Auditors need to find objective evidence in order to determine that the competency requirements have been met.

If the people are found not to be competent, your organization is required to take action. The actions taken need to be evaluated for effectiveness in raising competence to the required level. Examples of action may include remedial training, recruitment or the use of external people in order to acquire the necessary competence.

Identification of employee training needs is typically the first step in developing a competency-based training programme. In addition to existing workers, new hires, temporary workers and outside contractors must be included when identifying training needs. Your organization must demonstrate that the training needs for these employees were identified.

After developing a list of these employees, the management representative or human resources manager should establish the appropriate training programme for each person based on the type of employee interaction with each significant impact or risk.

Even though some personnel may have the same job, the type or level of training may vary according to each person’s past education, training, and experience.

A register containing information on specified levels of education, training, and experience must be established for each employee whose work is involved with any significant impact. The planned training programme for each individual then should be listed. The training sessions should, at a minimum:

  1. Make the employee aware of the aspects and hazards, and the impacts and risks associated with their work;
  2. Include training required by applicable regulatory requirements and management system requirements;
  3. Include training necessary to obtain/retain required licenses or registrations;
  4. Emphasize responsibility for minimizing significant impacts and risks associated with their work;
  5. Identify potential consequences of departures from specified operating procedures;
  6. Address the benefits of improved personal performance.

Training options may be as simple as on-the-job training, administered by senior/experienced members; formal training, including classroom instruction; training provided by external consultants.

For some situations, commercially available training courses may be another alternative. Additional or customized training activities specific to individual needs, job descriptions, regulations and goals may be necessary depending on the existing skill level of each employee.

More information on PDCA


4.1 Understanding Context 4.2 Interested Parties 4.3 Determining Scope
4.4 Management System Processes  
5.1 Leadership and Commitment 5.2 Policies 5.3 Roles, Responsibility and Authority
6.1 Address Risk and Opportunity 6.2 System Objectives and Planning 6.3 Planning for Change


7.1 Resources 7.2 Competence 7.3 Awareness
7.4 Communication 7.5 Documented Information
8.1 Operational Planning and Control 8.2 Requirements for Products and Services 8.3 Design & Development
8.4 Externally Provided Products and Services 8.5 Product and Service Provision 8.6 Release of Products and Services
8.7 Non-conforming Outputs 8.8 Emergency Preparedness 8.9 Accident and Incident Investigation


9.1 Monitor, Measure, Analyse and Evaluate 9.2 Internal Audit 9.3 Management Review


10.1 Improvement - General 10.2 Non-Conformity and Corrective Action 10.3 Continual Improvement

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