Process Safety Venn Diagram

=Method Quiz Question 7 of 11.

"We have reviewed Alex’ formal training (attending the =Method LOPA training) and experience (many years of facilitating and authoring LOPA study reports) and we’re happy that our competence requirements for leading next month’s LOPA study are satisfied."

Would you accept this as sufficient evidence of competence to lead the LOPA?

Answer

Maybe Not. Functional Safety standards detail three fundamental elements of competency: knowledge, training and experience. The competency review for Alex has only covered 2 of the 3 elements. Formal training has been satisfied by the =Method course and experience would seem to be satisfactory. But there is no information that helps us understand whether or not Alex has demonstrated “knowledge”.

It would be entirely possible for Alex to have attended the training, to have imperfectly remembered the training and then (perhaps for many years) implemented that imperfect understanding through all of the subsequent LOPA studies. What is missing is confirmation that the work done by Alex is correct – and this is where the demonstration of “knowledge” comes in.

To close this gap we need a process whereby Alex’ work can be checked – so it can be confirmed that the formal training and experience has led to the right implementation. In =Method’s view this is most easily achieved by independent verification by a competent person (which anyway is a requirement of Functional Safety Management). If all of Alex’s LOPA studies have been verified by an independent person, ideally with different people verifying different studies over time, then the chance of a misunderstanding by Alex continuing over time is reduced, and competence is demonstrated.

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