The role of technology in managing competence requirements19 Apr 22
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.
Steve noted that there are many aspects to competence, some of which are more easily managed by technology than others. “For example, through Covid and lockdowns we all experienced the increased use of online learning. Many businesses are using this for statutory training such as GPDR, modern slavery, bribery and corruption, etc, and I can also see this being used for onboarding new starters. It is sophisticated enough, with the right algorithms, to manage the growth of individuals in the business and the further training and competence they require.”
However, there are more entrenched issues related to competence that he anticipates will be harder to solve. Steve referred back to the presentation given by Dawn Hillier of the CITB at the last GIRI members’ meeting, in which she talked about developing competence frameworks for fire safety installers. “Even within this small group, there are a multitude of job roles, each starting from a different place in terms of competence and its assessment, and it will take years to get just this group onto a level playing field.”
Out of the skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours definition of competence, Steve observed that behaviours often seems to be the blind spot within this sector, with inconsistent or even missing capability from different occupational standards. “I think this is probably typical of the industry generally. In addition, I believe that whenever you are assessing competence, whether with or without technology, it needs be consistent across industry.”
Can technology alone be relied on to measure competence? Steve does not believe so, pointing out that qualities such as emotional intelligence will always require an element of human assessment. “However, once the assessment has been carried out, we can use technology to control access to sites. Technology such as fingerprint or facial recognition can be used to admit only those who have proved their competence or passed the initial induction, and it can flag when that competence has expired or is due to be renewed.”
Other reports from the webinar