OHSAS 18001 - (Section 4.4 - Implementation and Operation)

4.4.2. Training, Awareness and Competence

Guidance: Training, awareness and competence are related issues but training is different from awareness and competence in that it is a technique. A person can be trained and/or aware and/or competent and these are states of the individual. However, training is a technique which can be used to deliver one or more of these states. For this reason, the written procedure for competence and awareness is dealt with in this evaluation as a separate document from the written procedure on training. Organisations may, however, combine the documents if they wish. Note that the order in the OHSAS 18001 title is training, awareness and competence but in the subclause these issues are dealt with in the order competence, awareness and training. The subclause order is used in this evaluation.


Section 4.4.2.1 Competence and Awareness - Written Procedure

Is there a written procedure, or procedures, dealing with competence and awareness?


Guidance: OHSAS 18001 requires that all personnel are competent in those tasks they carry out which may impact on OH&S in the workplace. Organisations will, therefore, have to address issues such as competence needs analysis, how competences will be provided, and how competences will be measured. OHSAS 18001 also requires that personnel have the necessary awareness of OH&S issues so that OH&S awareness needs analysis and OH&S awareness provision will have to be addressed. The organisation's decisions on these matters will then have to be recorded in a written procedure.

Verification guidance: This question is a document check. Give a "Yes" answer if there is a document which purports to be the organisation's OH&S competence and awareness procedure. The adequacy of this document is tested by the remainder of the questions in this section.


Question 4.4.2.1.1

Is the identification of tasks which may impact on OH&S in the workplace dealt with adequately in the written procedure on competence and awareness?


Guidance: If organisations do not know which tasks may impact on OH&S in the workplace then they will be unable to satisfy the requirement to ensure that personnel are competent to carry out these tasks. However, the identification and recording of relevant tasks may be carried out as part of another procedure, for example, the risk assessment procedure.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if the identification of tasks which may impact on OH&S in the workplace is not dealt with in the written procedure on competence and awareness, OR the identification of relevant tasks is dealt with inadequately. Note. Where this requirement is met by reference to another procedure, a "Yes" answer can be given if the referenced procedure meets the relevant criteria.


Question 4.4.2.1.11

Is the maintenance of OH&S awareness dealt with adequately in the written procedure on competence and awareness?


Guidance: Awareness may deteriorate over time if there is no rehearsal or other method of maintaining awareness. Organisations must, therefore, have in place procedures for the periodic measurement of OH&S awareness to check that the required knowledge is still in place and still at an appropriate level of detail. The written procedure should set out the organisation's commitment to effective OH&S awareness maintenance and how this commitment will be met

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if the maintenance of OH&S awareness is not dealt with in the written procedure on competence and awareness, OR the maintenance of OH&S awareness is dealt with inadequately.


Section 4.4.2.2 Competence - Impementation


Question 4.4.2.2.1

Is there an up to date record of all tasks which may impact on OH&S in the workplace?


Guidance: OHSAS 18001 requires that employees are competent in all tasks which may impact of OH&S in the workplace. It follows, therefore, that organisations have to have identified all such tasks as a preliminary to assessing their competence requirements.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if there is no list of tasks which may impact on OH&S in the workplace, OR there is credible evidence that the list is incomplete or out of date, OR the list is inadequate in any other way.


Question 4.4.2.2.2

Have the required competences been identified and recorded for all tasks which may impact on OH&S in the workplace?


Guidance: OHSAS 18001 requires that employees are competent in all tasks which may impact on OH&S in the workplace. It follows, therefore, that organisations have to have identified all such tasks and assessed their competence requirements. Adequate records must also have been made of the results of this work.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if there is no list of tasks which may impact on OH&S in the workplace, OR there is credible evidence that the list is incomplete or out of date, OR the list is inadequate in any other way, OR for one or more tasks, there are no competence requirements described, OR the description of competence requirements is inadequate in any way.


Section 4.4.2.3 Awareness - Implementation


Question 4.4.2.3.1

Is there an adequate list of OH&S awareness requirements for all employees?


Guidance: If there is not an adequate list of employees which includes details of the OH&S awareness requirements then it will be difficult for an organisation to manage its OH&S awareness provision or demonstrate to others that it is being managed effectively.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if there is no list of employees, OR the list of employees is incomplete or out of date, OR the list does not include details of OH&S awareness requirements, OR the specification of awareness requirements is incomplete or out of date, OR the list is inadequate in any other way.


Section 4.4.2.4 Training - Written Procedure

Is there a written procedure dealing with OH&S training?


Guidance: For most organisations, training is the principal method used to provide OH&S competences and awareness and for this reason there should be a written procedure which sets out how the organisation will deal with OH&S training. This may be a separate document or it may form part of a more general training, awareness and competence procedure.

Verification guidance: This question is a document check. Give a "Yes" answer if there is a document which purports to be the organisation's OH&S training procedure. The adequacy of this document is tested by the remainder of the questions in this section. Note, where there is no separate training procedure answer the questions in this section by reference to the organisation's training, awareness and competence procedure.


Question 4.4.2.4.1

Is the identification of which employees should receive OH&S training, and the nature of the OH&S training to be received, dealt with adequately in the written procedure on OH&S training?


Guidance: If there is not an adequate list of employees which includes details of the OH&S training they should receive then it will be difficult for an organisation to manage its OH&S training provision or demonstrate to others that they it is being managed effectively. Details of how these requirements will be met should be included in the written procedure on OH&S training.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if identifying which employees should receive OH&S training is not dealt with in the written procedure on OH&S training, OR the OH&S training employees should receive is not dealt with in the written procedure on OH&S training, OR the statement on identification is inadequate in any other way.


Section 4.4.2.5 Training - Implementation


Question 4.4.2.5.1

Is there an adequate list of which employees should receive OH&S training, and the nature of the OH&S training to be received?


Guidance: If there is not an adequate list of employees which includes details of the OH&S training they should receive then it will be difficult for an organisation to manage its OH&S training provision or demonstrate to others that it is being managed effectively.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if there is no list of employees, OR the list of employees is incomplete or out of date, OR the list does not include details of required OH&S training, OR the specification of required training is incomplete or out of date, OR the list is inadequate in any other way.


Question 4.4.2.5.2

Have all employees received appropriate OH&S training?


Guidance: Having specified the requirements for OH&S training, organisations must ensure that the required training is delivered in a timely and effective manner. Organisations must also ensure that adequate records are kept of all OH&S training delivered to employees.

Verification guidance: Answer "No" to this question if there is no adequate specification of OH&S training requirements for employees, OR one or more of a representative sample of employees has not received the required training, OR for one or more of a representative sample of employees, training received has not been recorded, or recorded inadequately, OR one or more of a representative sample of employees has not received appropriate training for any other reason.