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Appoint a competent person

As an employer, you must appoint a competent person or people to help you meet your health and safety legal duties.

What a competent person does

They should have the skills, knowledge and experience to be able to recognise hazards in your business and help you put sensible controls in place to protect workers and others from harm.

Qualifications and training

It’s not usually essential for them to have formal qualifications and they’re not required by law to have formal training, although it can help.

Who you can appoint

You could appoint (one or a combination of):

  • yourself
  • one or more of your workers
  • someone from outside your business

Usually, managing health and safety isn’t complicated and you can do it yourself with the help of your workers. You know your workplace best and the risks associated with it.

If there’s a competent person within your workforce, use them rather than a competent person from outside your business.

Using a consultant or adviser

If your business or organisation doesn’t have the competence to manage health and safety in-house, for example, if it’s large, complex or high risk, you can get help from a consultant or adviser. But remember, as the employer, managing health and safety will still be your legal duty.

More on competence

Updated 2020-09-16