PSS Competency Framework update

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Published: Jan 23, 2024


As PSS formed its Skills Strategy 2023-2028, it surveyed members in 2022 Q4 and a competency framework was identified as one of the top three priorities for members.

People that are trained and competent in their work are essential for the smooth and safe running of an organisation. It is also a legal requirement from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The Competency Framework working group was formed to work collaboratively on this project. The working group consisted of members working in learning and development and training roles.

A project plan was formed with the work broken up into eight stages, outlined below.

Stage 1: Produce an overarching Competency Management System document (complete)

Using the Managing Competence for Safety-Related Systems guidance document from HSE, the PSS Competency Management System (CMS) document was created. This document includes the aim, scope, competence of assessors, assessment and re-assessment process, revalidation of competence and refers to legislation and Safety in Ports (SiP) guidance. The CMS document was approved by PSS following distribution to the PSS membership for comments during 2023 Q3.

A template to assess the Skills, Knowledge, Attitude, Training, Experience (SKATE) template has been created ready for stage 4.

Stage 2: Set up the first three sub-groups to work on Operations, Engineering and Marine (complete)

PSS called for volunteers with the expertise in these specific areas to help with the next stage of work. A briefing meeting was held in December to provide more information on the scope of work and its aims.

The sub-groups were formed and will support the work involved in stages 3 and 4 of the framework.

Stage 3: Sub-groups to identify safety critical competencies (in progress)

Each of the sub-groups met mid-December 2023 to consider and prioritise safety critical competencies in their areas of expertise. Documents are currently being shared by members to support this work.

Stage 4: Sub-groups to create SKATE documents (in progress)

The sub-groups will create SKATE documents that can be used to assess workers for a specific area of competence, for example, Slinger/Signaller.

Stage 5: Consultation on SKATE documents

The SKATE documents will be shared with members for comments prior to approval.

Stage 6: Implementation

The SKATE documents will be issued for use by members. It is anticipated that this will be 2025 Q1.

Stage 7: Storage and process for amendments

Stage 8: Review take up

Members interested in getting involved in this work should contact PSS for further information.


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