Industry standards, legislation and best safety practices are continuously evolving and in Australia, the obligation falls largely on the employer to keep their workers safe.
Verification of Competency was introduced to ensure companies keep in check the skills and knowledge of their staff members so they remain current and relevant. This can seem like a lot of work but with the right systems, you can greatly improve this process.
What Verification of Competency looks like is largely dependent on the employer, however, there are four key aspects you need to be aware of to ensure compliance with ease.
But first, let’s take a look at what Verification of Competency is all about.
What is Verification of Competency?
A Verification of Competency is an independent assessment that tests the knowledge and skills of staff in a company. It is a verification, meaning staff members must already hold a form of qualification like a certificate, licence or some other unit of competency.
In undertaking a Verification of Competency, the aim is to confirm and affirm that the staff member still possesses the competence to hold the qualification and is up to date with industry safety practices.
Simply having a licence or certificate is no longer enough to demonstrate competency. The law requires employers to take reasonable measures to ensure their staff are adequately trained in their qualification and are current in workplace safety practices.
A Verification of Competency can be required as part of the pre-employment process or be mandatory for attendance on site. In fact, some businesses do not allow workers to attend a site unless they have completed the required Verification of Competency.
What Matters in Verification of Competency Compliance?
Ensuring compliance with Verification of Competency is critical to employers to satisfy their obligations under the law. In order to tackle this in the most efficient way that reduces administration and eliminates double handling, you need a robust system. But where do you start?
Don’t worry, to get you off on the right foot we discuss four must-haves to deliver Verification of Competency compliance with ease.
1. Enable record keeping of existing licences or certifications
It's important to remember that the legality to operate machinery or equipment still requires holding the appropriate licence or certificate. A pre-requisite for undertaking a Verification of Competency is that there is an existing licence or qualification. For instance, something like a forklift licence or a dogging certificate.
If a staff member is required to undertake a Verification of Competency, it's always best to first check if they in fact hold the qualification. It seems obvious but can result in additional costs to employers if missed. Introducing a platform to employers where they can see staff qualifications and verification of competency in the same place will be invaluable and greatly reduce administration.
2. Use a system that can facilitate both theoretical and practical components
The components of a Verification of Competency assessment are highly dependent on the industry and the company. Generally, however, they are made up of both theory and practical tasks.
For instance, the competency may require a short written or multiple-choice assessment that highlights key safety aspects followed by a face to face observation of a particular activity.
Having the ability to facilitate both components in one system will eliminate any double handling and streamline assessment components.
3. Enable evidence of completion
An assessment of any sort must provide evidence of completion and the same applies with a Verification of Competency. Once staff members complete their Verification of Competency, they are provided with a certificate or wallet card that evidences their competency status.
This is where a platform that enables this completion process comes in handy. This way, staff members are able to provide evidence of their Verification of Competency status whenever the need arises. Employers will also be able to access records quickly and confirm at any point, the verification of competency status of a staff member.
4. Maintain Currency
A Verification of Competency has an expiry date and as industry standards and legislation continue to evolve, it requires regular upkeep. A system where information on completion dates of Verification of Competency assessments can be stored you can track and manage this with great transparency and reliability.
Streamline and Eliminate Double Handling with Cloud Assess
In order to mitigate risk, reduce damage and and thus save money, businesses are in need of a system that can provide accurate record keeping of Verification of Competency for each and every staff member.
Cloud Assess provides a paperless solution that ensures compliance without compromising efficiency. Instead, businesses can focus on developing assessments and VOC forms that are focussed on ensuring your company works to a set of standards and reduces the change of any liabilities. It also enables staff to remain up to date with current standards and be well equipped to follow industry safety practices.
With Cloud Assess, you can store, update and automate Verification of Competency for all staff with ease and at scale.
Turn the conversation to the needs of employers and their staff and let Cloud Assess streamline compliance and eliminate double handling for you.
Want to hear a success story? Find out how WH&S More Skills increased their compliance and efficiency with Cloud Assess.