A better way to assess competencies in the workplace
The common objective of all competency assessments is to effectively verify, record, and manage employee records in the workplace.
I stress effectively because it is amazing how many ineffective approaches are still utilized for assessing and tracking competencies.
Having done countless site visits, in a variety of operational settings, we see is a lot of thrashing going on. It is surprising to discover so many organizations where the drive to consolidation, or doing more — all in one place, has not yet been fully embraced.
Assessing, verifying, and recording the outcomes of competency assessments is a responsibility that is usually assigned to someone who is already in a cross functional position.
Site safety supervisors and training managers are often the "go-to" people to take on the role of workplace assessor, and often this work is done over and above normal duties.
Unfortunately, without the proper tools and systems, many of the processes and procedures used to assess competencies, deliver technical training, and manage employee training records are largely unsustainable, extraordinarily expensive, and risky.
All too often, a patchwork of unrelated systems is used to manage and track this process. By not utilizing a system specifically designed for this purpose, a significant amount of time is lost on repeating the tasks, steps, and procedures related to assessing competence and delivering technical training.
A Recipe for Disaster
Attempting to coordinate, deliver, and track competency assessments using an assortment of spreadsheets, documents, PDFs, PowerPoints, and paper-based checklists is a recipe for disaster.
Consider what happens when...
You have to transfer these duties to someone else?
Records are not up-to-date, or there are delays in data entry?
Records do not meet the demands of an audit?
Reports from different systems are incomplete or inconsistent?
One of your many software tools goes offline?
These are all legitimate risks and we have seen what happens when these scenarios play out. It's frustrating, expensive, and disabling to operations.
So what should the process look like?
Competency assessments are typically done through a combination of discussion, performance and observation. Or as I like to say: "show and tell me how it's done".
In simplest of terms, it all starts with a notification being sent to an employee indicating that they need to self-assess on the various competencies that make up their occupation profile or job description.
The employee indicates whether they meet the requirements of a given competency, or if they don't and require training.
This information is then submitted to a workplace assessor.
Where an employee indicates they meet the requirements for their competencies, the workplace assessor then meets with the employee.
Where an employee indicates they need training, then the WPA ensures the appropriate learning and training activities are attached to their skills development plan.
The employee reviews and completes the necessary training requirements.
Competencies are then verified through discussion, demonstration and performance.
The WPA signs-off on verified competencies and Shift iQ then generates the appropriate credential (SOP, time sensitive safety certificate, ticket, etc.)
This information is recorded real-time so the employee and workplace assessor are always working with up-to-the minute information and skills development plans are always current.
Choosing the right tool for the job
You wouldn't use Microsoft Excel to write a novel, and you would never use Microsoft Notepad to manage financial statements, but all too often a hodgepodge of inadequate tools is used to manage and assess competencies and deliver technical training.
Shift iQ is a purpose-built solution that meets regulatory requirements. It is also the only solution designed to meet the workflow requirements for assessing competencies in the workplace.
Shift iQ was designed with competency-based training in mind. And yes, it is flexible enough to handle the most advanced notification and reporting requirements.
Shift iQ is also fully optimized for web-enabled devices, enabling skills development anytime, anywhere.