Competence is a simple concept, but within your organisation it could be the difference between an average day on site and a major catastrophe.

So… what exactly is a ‘competency’?

Also known as skills, behaviours or performance standards, competencies prove your employees have the knowledge they need to do their job, and feel confident to carry out activities in a safe and correct manner. In high hazard environments, this is extremely important for everyone on-site, and it’s often a legal requirement for senior management have proof of each employee’s ability. It can cover your back if things do go wrong, and it’s an important part of career progression for your staff.

There are many different types of employee competencies:

  • Training
  • Skills
  • Accomplishments
  • Certificates
  • Degrees
  • Languages

Each competency has a different weight and relevancy in each sector, and they can each be tracked in different ways – so when it comes to monitoring your entire staff, there’s lots to think about. At OneFile, we’ve designed a flexible software for in-house competence management – so we thought we’d share our expertise with you.

The future of tracking

Once you have a framework you’re happy with, you must think about how you are going to track it.

In the past, companies have often used paper-based portfolios for managing competency in the workplace, but this is fast becoming ‘old news’ thanks to recent developments in technology. With a digital version, you can easily distinguish between employees, complete evidence on the job and produce reports and graphs with data in real-time.


With tracking now covered, consider how accessible this critical data is when you need it the most. If you’re relying on a paper-based portfolio, employees will only have one copy to work from, which will have to be duplicated and updated every time they prove another competency.

Will employees carry these with them on site or are there restrictions in place to avoid loss or damage?

Can the results of employee competence levels be gathered and displayed quickly in the case of an unexpected audit?

These are all very important things to think about.

Be flexible

10 years ago, organisations could get away with note taking, low quality images and short write-ups – but not anymore. Industry experts have brought competence management into the 21st century. With a digital competence management system, you can record a wide range of evidence types – such as audio clips, videos and online tasks. These are not only easier for the employee to complete, they also offer a more accurate insight into their level of competence.

Ultimately, think about the skills you require your staff to master before deciding on the best way for them to demonstrate these accurately. And always remember: Plan, analyse and improve.

Find out more about OneFile’s eportfolio.

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