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How do you know your advisor is competent?

If you are seeking to contract with an external consultancy or employ an internal advisor, how do you know what role and function the competent person should take and what capabilities, knowledge and skills they would require to be effective.

We firstly need to understand the term competence.  In general terms, the definition of a competent person is someone who the combination of knowledge, skills and experience that a person has and their ability to apply them. Other factors, such as attitude and physical ability, can also affect someone’s competence.

The HSE publish industry specific competence:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/competence/industry-specific-competence.htm

Therefore, health and safety professionals should have a high level of competence. This should be proportionate to the work they do and the type of organisation they work for. They can develop their knowledge via various qualification from graduate and postgraduate studies, NEBOSH qualifications and NVQs/SVQs.

In addition, in all levels of competency, health and safety professions need to maintain their competence.  They should also consider their continuous professional development and work towards industry membership such as a chartered member of IOSH (CMIOSH).