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IGEM/TD/102

Competence framework

The purpose of this document is to provide a recognised industry framework that will enable businesses to sustain the management and supervisory technical competences required to carry out their work and assist to achieve their business objectives.

The term `Competent Person' (CP) occurs frequently in the safety Regulations. Clarification of the definitions of competence has been established through case law brought under these Regulations.

"A Competent Person should have practical and theoretical knowledge as well as sufficient experience of the particular machinery, plant or procedure involved to enable them to identify defects or weaknesses, and to assess their importance in relation to strengths and functions of the machinery." (Taken from Brazier v. Skipton Company (1962) His Lordship Winn).

This document is targeted at the transmission, storage and distribution sector of the gas industry, which includes Natural Gas (NG), LNG and LPG installations, but could be applied to other parts of the industry if required.

Gas transportation is a high hazard industry and, as a consequence, is more heavily regulated than other utilities and other construction industries. Regulations impose explicit duties on gas transporters to ensure that people are competent to carry out a range of work. Specific competence obligations in Regulations have recently been reinforced by changes in corporate accountabilities for safety management. Technical capability is essential for gas transportation businesses to discharge these duties and meet their obligations to shippers, gas consumers, shareholders and members of the public.

All recognised management system standards include requirements for training or competence. Nevertheless, there are no recognised standards for competence management systems and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) considers that competence is a recurring problem with certification of management systems of all types.

This Guidance is for all sectors of the gas industry providing practical guidance to support the Gas Safety (Management) Regulations (GS(M)R), Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations (GS(I&U)R) and the Pipelines Safety Regulations (PSR). The Guidance also supports engineers in carrying out their work in achieving their Company's business objectives. It has been drafted by an IGEM Working Group, which included representatives of all the gas distribution networks, the association of independent gas transporters (AIGT), BG Group, EU Skills and independent consultants.

IGEM/TD/102 is the basis for good practice for the industry, including but not limited to Gas transmission and storage companies; Gas distribution network companies; Independent gas transporters; Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) storage and transmission companies; Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage, transmission and distribution companies; the nominated contractor; Health and Safety Executive (HSE); Office of Gas and Energy Markets (Ofgem) and individuals who are or aspire to be employees in the industry. The relevant parts of this Guidance may be cited in a gas transporter's (GT's) Safety Case.

The Competence Framework, has been developed by IGEM and supported by EU Skills, is intended to provide a means that companies may use to determine competence requirements for particular roles and assess whether individual employees meet those requirements.  The Competence Framework may also be used by individual employees or those aspiring to roles in the industry to understand and seek to demonstrate the relevant competence.

The Guidance associated with the Competence Framework includes a process that may be applied to all roles within the scope but the detailed supporting information has been compiled from an existing asset management model and is not currently comprehensive for all industry roles. It is intended that this supporting information will be reviewed regularly by IGEM, revised in the light of feedback from those who have used the Competence Framework and extended where appropriate to include additional categories and subject areas identified by users.

IGEM/TD/102 can be ordered online using the following link IGEM/TD/102.

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