What Is The Key To Assuring The Skillset Of Your Frontline Workforce?

In this series, we focus on helping the next generation of frontline leaders and workers with companies and operation businesses where safety and technical skills are required. So far, we’ve looked at two main issues:

  • In the US, there is a growing skills gaps between generations on the frontline, which is contributing to the rise in workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
  • Exclusively training frontline workers is no longer the most effective approach to preparing new hires, so we’ve explored competency programs as a potential solution.

Competency is generally misunderstood in the US, with most people equating competency with training and passing a knowledge test at the end of a course. If we observe nations who moved to a Competency Management System (CMS) program for workers, we get a clear understanding of what occupational competency is and how it is defined. Competency is a set of skills, with each skill requiring knowledge, understanding, and connection to individual performance and a means of improvement.

Looking at these other nations that have found success in implementing and maintaining their frontline competency programs, we find that their success has been in ensuring that their workplace assessors are:

  • Trained, qualified, and have verified ability as a workplace assessor, as well as maintain their qualification.
  • Independent of the individual they are assessing.
  • Only assessing individuals who hold the same type of job as the assessor previously held (e.g., an electrical assessor only assesses other electricians, a mechanical assessor, other mechanics).
  • Neutral and only assesses others against the requirements defined within a competency standard for a given job role to conclude a competency judgment.
  • Able to write the assessment summary in a legally defensible way, as well as provide the feedback to the person assessed in a manner that encourages them to continuously improve their knowledge, skills, and ability.

Failing to properly assess the competency of a workforce can lead to a whole host of issues including injuries, accidents, OSHA fines, loss of brand recognition, and loss of profits. Read our previous article on the cost impact due to lack of a fully skilled frontline workforce.

The workplace assessor is key to investing in and maintaining a quality competency program for your frontline workforce.

What does a Workplace Assessor Do?

To read the last article in this series, click here for the FULL article: What Is The Key To Assuring The Skillset Of Your Frontline Workforce

No matter your industry, we believe training and competency programs are key to the future for the next generation workforce in the US. If you do implement a CMS, we suggest you consider an off the shelf CMS enterprise software system that allows a structured competency program to be managed easily and provides management a snapshot to know at any point where their frontline stands with their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

If you need help, we have solutions that can help you manage your next generation workforce please contact us.  We exist to help you reduce risk, improve performance, and save lives. Give us a call.



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