ISO 45001 defines “competence” as “the ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results”.
Competence is different from awareness and knowledge. For example a person is giving awareness on how to drive a car. Just by getting knowledge of car driving is not enough to drive a car until the person is able to apply that knowledge appropriately. This ability of driving a car correctly comes with the exercise, experience, skills and basic knowledge. This ability of driving a car is known as competence.
Does ISO 45001:2018 requires any documented information on competence? Find out.
Competence comes with experience of doing some specific job, it is the art of doing the work right, skillfully and with dexterity. Therefore the work of production management, supervision, training, operating a machine are all areas of competence where just awareness and knowledge is not enough to lead and perform the job.
Competence is important in occupational health and safety management. It is because a competent operator can drive the machine safely and will ensure health and safety at workplace. A competent fork-lifter operator knows the safety issues within fork-lifter driving. This is the reason competence requirement is one of the primary requirements of ISO 45001.