Who Is A Competent Person?
A competent person is someone who is familiar with health and safety legislation, current best practice and is competent to provide practical advice on health and safety.
They are someone who is familiar with with, and understands current legislation, has the background, experience, training, knowledge, communication skills, authority, and any other necessary skills to be able to provide effective health and safety advice. This would include being able to provide advice proportinate to the health and safety risks in an organisation or business.
The Competent Person role is pivotal to the sucessful health and safety management of a business. The knowledge and skill of the person is essential for effective management, the prevention of accidents and ill health and the preservation of a business’s greatest asset its employees. Furthermore the law requires that every employer must appoint a Competent Person.
Who Do I Appoint as a Competent Person?
If you have an employee who has the necessary knowledge and competencies to advise on health and safety then it may be an internal appointment. If you do not have a suitable person then you may make an external appoinment. This is where Active Safety Associates as OSHCR Registered and CMIOSH Chartered health and safety consultants can assist. Please see our Competent Person Scheme
In either case it is essential that the employer (business, business owner, managing director) assess the prospective candidate/s competence based on the above criteria to ensure they are competent and suited for the role. The law requires that the employer appoints someone competent so the employer must carry out some assessment of the person they appoint. Fortunately we provide some guidance on this process, below is suggested selection checklist.
Selection of a Suitable Competent Person
Here are some suggested checks you could make when selecting a suitable competent person.
Check that they have
Relevant experience in the same type of work. Ask for their CV.
Appropriate training such as NEBOSH Diploma or Degree.
Membership of Professional Body eg CMIOSH Chartered Member of Institution of Occupational Safety and Health or equivalent
OSHCR Registration in the HSE’s OSHCR Register (Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register). This is a Register set up by the Health and Safety Executive to ensure that there is a benchmark level of competence and continuing professional development for consultants. See OSHCR for more information.
Please remember as the employer you must assess your appointed person and be satisfied they have the competencies, knowledge, skills and experience to do the job. It is recommended that you keep a record of your selection assessment.
Active Safety Associates Competent Persons Schemes
We have a Competent Persons Scheme to suit you that gives you a cost effective solution to managing your health and safety. It is effectively an investment in your business and personnel.
Control Your Competent Person Costs
See how to Control your competent person costs.
Remember, you must appoint a competent person! If you run a business or are a director or senior manager and have not appointed a suitable person then you and your business are at risk of prosecution. It makes good commonsense anyway to appoint someone who can guide you through what can be complex and daunting health and safety legislation.