With the implementation of the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999 (COMAH) , it is no longer acceptable to make untested assumptions about staff competence. The health and Safety Executive have developed safety report assessment guidance that asks for a competence assurance system that includes the setting of appropriate competence standards, assessment and reassessment of competence, and that there be a specific link between identified safety critical tasks and a targeted comprehensive management system. This report provides a review of current practice, a view of what comprises good practice in the field of competence assessment in relation to major accident prevention, and a body of advice , checklists and examples of assessment. It draws together experience, standards and lessons learnt from a number of hazardous industries, particularly chemicals, offshore, nuclear and aviation. Due regard has also been given to the guidance on competence assessment laid out by personnel specialists, national certification bodies and institutes.
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