“Competence” is a combination of the ability to perform a task, to understand and explain that task, the type, years, supervision committed to obtaining that knowledge and the habits or practices related to the task. To put it simply, competence is made up of skill, knowledge, experience and behavior.
Competency standards are used to assess and qualify an individual’s level of competence. Standards provide a common definition of a competency and the required set of skills, knowledge and experience.
The competencies of field operators and technicians are detailed in standards such as the American standard ASME B31Q, however, there are no generally recognized competency standards for engineers.
The Education Systems and Services team at ROSEN have now begun to fill this gap by creating the Competency Standards Manual for engineers specializing in pipeline integrity management.
The development of these competency standards took place in conjunction with the Competence Club . An integral element of this club is the collaborative work with the independent qualification panel, which consists of a group of individuals that are all experts in their respective fields and all independent from any pipeline operator. This allowed for a more holistic approach when creating the published standard. In turn, the Competence Club provides a platform for learning and assessing the defined standards.
The 51 competencies described in the Competency Standards Manual can be grouped to create a set of requirements for specific roles within the industry. Competence levels are identified to have 4 stages, which include: Awareness, Foundation, Practitioner, and Expert.
Taking this one step further, with the help of the qualification panel, an initial list of six grouped competencies, called Qualification Descriptors, were defined. Each of these descriptors has a dedicated list of competency standards.
Up to this point, there has been very little guidance on how to ensure and prove staff are competent and qualified — the Competence Club, Competency Standards Manual, and the Qualification Descriptors are a new beginning.