Competence and technology webinar – what did we learn?

27 Apr 22

Technology offers great potential for the measurement and improvement of some aspects of competence, but strategic implementation, skilled people, and a thorough understanding of process are required for it to be effective, agreed experts at GIRI’s Technology Working Group special webinar on 2 April. However, technology cannot completely replace human interaction, will struggle to measure behaviour, which is a crucial element of competence, and unless we first determine a baseline to measure against, such as a competence framework, its value will be limited.

Here are the key insights from the forum.

Technology and competence – what should we consider

Technology can not only help measure competence, but if implemented in a structured way, it can also complement the competence of those using it, Technology Working Group chair Melanie Dawson told delegates at GIRI’s recent online forum. Melanie’s was the first in a series of presentations by group members considering the opportunities and drawbacks of technology as a means of measuring competence in construction.

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The role of technology in managing competence requirements

The advantages technology offers in managing certain aspects of training and competence were proven during Covid, but a degree of human interaction will always be necessary, delegates at GIRI’s technology webinar heard. Panellist Steve Green, framework bid writer at Bowmer & Kirkland added that the key to assessing competence is having a consistent measure applied across industry that connects trades, managers, and professionals, and provides a robust structure starting at the foundations.

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Can technology change the way we think about performance?

When it comes to competence, technology is both an enabler and a disruptor, according to Paul Dodd, head of infrastructure technology at the Scottish Futures Trust. Speaking at the recent GIRI online technology forum, Paul highlighted the way technology is not only changing the way we do things within the construction industry, but also changing job roles and introducing new ones.

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Establish a baseline to effectively measure competence

Technology can only help measure competence after we have set a baseline to measure against, Morgan Sindall technical director Steffan Speer told the audience at the recent GIRI Technology Working Group webinar.

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Debate: is behaviour the unmeasurable aspect of competence?

Influencing behaviour at every level is critical to improving project outcomes – but behaviour is one of the most difficult aspects of competency to measure using technology, panellists at GIRI’s Technology Working Group webinar agreed.

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