Are your employees up to scratch?

Workplace Relations focuses on the relationship between the employee and the employer, and as workplace relations practitioners we often focus on statutory compliance and issues resolution.

There is, however, a softer side to compliance that is often overlooked; namely the employers duty to ensure that all workers who undertake duties are competent to do so.

It is in the interest of the business to ensure that workers are effective at carrying out their duties, but effectiveness and competency are different standards, and the difference is an important one. Effective staff are ones that have the skills to do the tasks given them to the satisfaction of the employer. Competent staff have, and can demonstrate, a set of skills, experience and understanding that is to a consistent or best practice level that would allow the transfer of those skills to another physical location or to a changed management structure. Basically, do your staff understand the responsibilities, rationale and repercussions associated with their role? And could they demonstrate that understanding in an environment that was similar but unfamiliar?

As HR practitioners we need to be concerned with the requirement to demonstrate competency. There are situations, such as in the wake of a safety incident, after a robbery or indeed as part of regular performance management, that the business may be called on to prove that the worker had been appropriately trained to a competency standard. In these cases ad hoc training will often not satisfy investigators.

Structured, documented and rigorous training is required and there is a due diligence requirement to not only train staff but to verify that the knowledge has been embedded, that the worker understands the information and can demonstrate the skills. Achieving this cycle internally is difficult for many small and medium businesses. Best practice external providers not only assist businesses in delivering and verifying competency levels but also deliver peace of mind that the standard and content delivered is removed from the business, allowing bad habits to be corrected and circumventing the possibility of perpetuating miscommunication that hastily constructed internal training can contain.

Internal or external competency based training and regular refreshers need to be documented on the training register, and course outcomes and certificates retained for reference and production to the authorities as required.

In the petrol convenience area, ACAPMA has delivered to the industry the new standard in compliance training, the Petroleum Convenience Compliance (PCC) course. The PCC  course  covers all areas of compliance that a console operator is exposed to; from competition and tobacco compliance, to forecourt safety and environmental compliance, to in-store safety and armed robbery survival, to food safety and fire first response. It tests participants on knowledge with interactive multi-media assessments that ensure competency and understanding. The PCC is an industry solution to delivering competent console operators and compliant businesses.

For more information on the PCC, please click here or for more on the requirements to demonstrate competency call 1300 160 270 to speak to an ACAPMAlliance Workplace Relations professional.