Competence and Competence Assessment in Underground Mines

A competent person is an individual who has the required education, training, skills, experience and other qualities combined with the ability to consistently apply that knowledge and understanding to achieve effective performance to a desired level or to a particular standard. 

To demonstrate competence, organisations can define the essential competencies required for each role in their organisation. These role specific competencies can then be mapped to an individual employee and their competency level determined.  The method of assessment of competency need not be the same for all roles and should be proportionate to the depth, complexity or impact of the role. Different approaches may be more suitable for routine operational tasks compared with safety critical tasks or front line management roles compared with senior management positions.

It is the responsibility of the organisation through effective leadership to determine the most appropriate assessment method that meets that organisation’s competency needs.  Below is a range of methods that can be used to assess competence.

  • Demonstrable and practical work-based experience verified by a supervisor.
  • Quality assured company training programmes which assess an individual’s knowledge and performance.
  • Nationally recognised qualifications which determine an individual’s knowledge and performance.
  • Professional qualifications gained through membership of institutes and the UK Engineering Council.
  • Assessment and coaching to develop appropriate attitudes and behaviours.

Where appropriate, qualifications and training should be aligned to accepted occupational standards as exampled by National Occupational Standards or the standards required by licensed professional institutions.

Competence should be reviewed on a periodic basis and whenever someone changes roles within the workplace. Where significant gaps in an individual’s competence are identified organisations need to take appropriate action to ensure that the effective management of safety is maintained until any gaps in competence are filled.

Fundamental to ongoing competence is the need for continuous professional development which can be a mix of work place activity and role related development.  This can be achieved by developing technical knowledge and awareness through work experience; retraining and assessment; or gaining additional training or qualifications.

MAUK Approved Proposal

November 2011