Competency Management Systems and Solutions

Since 1996, we have been working closely with over 170 companies across the world to provide solutions focused on competency management system projects.

Our experience puts us in a great position to understand what will give you the best result for competence and risk management. We can help you with the strategic decisions and the short term requirements.

From developing and implementation of competency management systems, health checks and streamlining of existing competency management systems, developing integrated training and competency programmes, supply chain audits, preparation for industry audits to shaping messages for your workforce, internal verification services to working with your supply chain.

We work with many clients whose approach to competency management is driven by a compliance strategy but we also work with many clients who are aiming for a quality driven, people focused, qualifications or cultural change strategy and for all of these organisations, the ability to manage competency and drive forward competency in their organsisations is essential.

Some clients want to go further and link competency to all aspects of the employee lifecycle, and for all our clients, we encourage them to integrate competency management into their business so that it is not a bolt on or tick box but at the heart of their business strategy.

  • "We have delivered a workable competency framework in the North Sea for all offshore positions.  We have started recording progress and can confidently measure where our competency gaps are.  As a start up company with no competency framework in place this has been an invaluable service and has made a worthwhile contribution to our expected success."

    Human Resources Director International Drilling Contractor
  • "The service provided by Polaris Learning in terms of assessor training, internal verifier training and consultancy has supported Odfjell Drilling (UK) at all levels within our organisation in maintaining our Competence Assurance Management System."

    Training and Competence Assurance Supervisor (at the time of feedback) Odfjell Drilling UK Ltd
  • "Working with Polaris Learning, we were able to create in-house competency standards which we are able to manage, saving us time and money, and our assessors benefit from a tailored course working around our own standards.  I would recommend Polaris Learning for the time and effort they take to understand your needs as a company and what you are looking for."

    Training Advisor Helix HR Services, Scotland
  • “Effective knowledge of our company competence program, well taught.”

    A learner, Assessor Training Workshop International Marine Company
  • "We are now in a stronger position to manage our competency management system with a good ratio of assessors to candidates.  Polaris Learning have always shown to be professional and courteous towards myself and others that we have placed on training with them."

    Training and Competency Advisor (at time of feedback) Sulzer Wood Ltd, United Kingdom
  • "I found the assessor course to be very effective when I was gathering my evidence, making me realise just how important it is to be able to correctly assess someone's knowledge and competency and how that can reflect on their abilities in the workplace."

    A learner, SQA L&D11 Internal Verifier Award on PLUS
  • "Working with Polaris Learning, we received more clarity on how to structure our CMS system, guidance on paperwork required to manage our CMS and training for those involved in our system.  A major benefit to us was Polaris Learning's experience of working with big clients in the same industry, we could benefit from knowing what has and hasn't worked for them."

    Crewing Manager Topaz Energy and Marine, Dubai
  • "I wasn't sure what to expect and how my previous experience would relate - the trainer was excellent at using my own experiences to highlight the training points at hand."

    A learner, Internal Verifier Training Workshop International Marine Company
  • "The services from Polaris Learning has given us more employee buy-in to our competency system. We are now more educated on competency and have a better quality product.  80% of our employees are now inducted on our competency system."

    Training and Competence Coordinator Subsea Vehicle Services Company
  • "The content of the course was well defined and I only had a few concerns when it came to gathering evidence and answering some of the knowledge questions.  My assessor was able to guide me through some of the more challenging questions and shed light on what evidence was needed."

    A learner, SQA L&D11 Internal Verifier Award on PLUS


Our CMS gives you the tools to track, monitor and demonstrate the competency and performance of your people.
For those wishing to implement a new competency management system
To review competency management systems to assess effectiveness
Moving your Competency Management System forward
Assessor and verifier training


The following 23 case studies represent a relatively small number of the all the CMS projects we have undertaken since 1996. There are many to choose from across the sectors we have successfully delivered solutions for. The selection chosen tries to show our capability to deliver more complex and challenging projects. We have many more success stories across the energy supply chain, marine industry, manufacturing, food and drink and other sectors so please get in touch.

Working with Helix ESG

We have provided a range of services to Well Ops to enable them to get their Competency Management System on track:

  • Development of standards of competence based on safety case and operating procedures
  • Development of user-friendly competence portfolios
  • Assessor and internal verifier training
  • Ongoing support and advice to the training & competency team
Working with Northern Offshore

Northern Offshore initially needed help to get their Competency Management System working.  We started to overhaul the system by streamlining the set-up and ultimately getting the system on track.

We continue to work very closely with the team at Northern Offshore to support the entire running of the Competency Management System. This includes onsite support to their rigs based in Europe and other international regions.

 Competency Management Systems COMAH Regulations Alignment

Polaris Learning was contracted to assist with the revision of the approach to competency within the UK. This followed an internal decision to move away from a vocational framework that had failed to take hold in the organisation and which also did not align to updated guidance from the HSE regarding alignment with the risk management approach set out in the Safety Case.   Following a competitive bidding process, Polaris Learning was awarded the contract.

Risk Profiling of Crews and Aligning to the Safety Case

This included:

  • Revision of competence assurance policy and approach, and development of competency maps for operations personnel (CRO and field operators linked to Safety Management System and highlighting key training and competency interventions designed to manage risk)
  • Development of risk profiling tool for operations and maintenance personnel to manage risk and resources during revised implementation process.  This process assisted with the major transition of personnel across 6 upstream Oil & Gas producing assets and 1 downstream asset in a way that minimised impact on operations, and help priorities training and assessment activities using a risk based process and matrix
  • Development of competency profiles for critical maintenance roles: electrical; mechanical and instrumentation / systems (technician and lead technician levels) and implementation of the maintenance CMS process through assessor training of senior maintenance individuals
  • Development of asset specific competency profiles for operations personnel designed to achieve consistency in assessment and tie in platform procedures, and other training initiatives (e-learning etc.)

Moving from Paper Based CMS to Online

Management of transition from paper based process to e-based solution including:

  • Specification of systems requirements
  • Structured review and evaluation of developing online process through to completion
  • Development of user guides
  • Training role out to users

Successful Implementation Through Assessor and Verifier Training

This included

  • Roll out of revised programme to operation’s supervisors through assessor training workshops (approximately 90 senior operations personnel successfully trained and assessed by ourselves)
  • Development and implementation of verifier training for OIMs, and operations and maintenance team leads

Internationalisation of processes

The policies and processes established within this project have been subsequently implemented within Australian and USA operations.

Polaris Learning also assisted to identify, develop and implement a range of related solutions including:

  • Leadership profiles for onshore and offshore based roles
  • Consultancy and training for those responsible for the training or assessment of services personnel including  lifting and cleaning
  • Review of the framework and guideline
  • Moving the training of assessors onto an online format to help contribute to the organisation’s reduction of travel related to training
  • Development of guidance for the reassessment of individuals in safety critical roles (especially for downstream assets where a different set of detailed regulations apply)
  • Development of a training/familiarisation/development strategy for new filed tie-ins and roll out to personnel
Please see below for many more case studies

Integrated 20+ rig competency system, aligning diverse systems with org standards. Streamlined, risk-focused, aided IT, global tailored training.

Since 2015, trained 500 assessors online, followed by verifiers; now offer a SCORM-compliant e-learning package tailored for both via SKD’s learning system.

Polaris created a cloud-based competence system for drilling personnel, integrating with client CMS for accessible competence records & crew efficiency.

Training assessors and verifiers since 2011, enhancing offshore competency for Marine and Construction staff. Consulted in 2021 for CMS system upgrade.


Developed & hosted LMS/CMS, transitioning learning online, aligning competencies with IMCA, expanding for new operations through training.

Stena Drilling sought expert aid for CMS overhaul, including process alignment and online assessor training development for their revised system.

Since 2016, facilitated transition of organisation’s CMS from paper to online, expanded services, and provided SQA assessor training and verification.

Revised and implemented CMS, developed training & competency systems for offshore teams, and enhanced diving operations processes for Helix/Well Ops.

Since 2007, conducted a comprehensive audit of ConocoPhillips’ well operations supply chain, assessing competency across various roles in response to HSE guidelines.

Case Studies

Maersk Drilling: Integration and Overhaul of Global Competency Management System (20 + Rigs)

Integration and Overhaul of Global Competency Management System (20 + Rigs)

  • We have been supporting this client to integrate a number of different competency management systems resulting in one integrated competency management system that can be used globally across 20 plus rigs, allowing for individual rig variations.
  • This focused on the organisation’s own performance standards derived from their barrier management strategy and incorporated their on-the-job training framework
  • It has been a risk-based approach with a focus on how to streamline the competency management system to allow for movement between types of rigs and locations, while managing risk.
  • We have worked with the team to implement their IT solution effectively as they roll out their revised competency management system
  • We are providing the verification expertise until the in-house verifiers are trained and able to take over the process
  • Assessor and verifier training have been provided globally online via our online learning portal PLUS, has been tailored to the client’s process and paperwork, and translated into Scandinavian for the Norwegian market. The client has been delighted with how much money has been saved by selecting this training route and how effective the training has been.

Saipem: Re-focus and revised roll out of CMS Programme

Re-focus and revised roll out of CMS Programme

• Provision of Assessor and Verifier training since 2011 to assist with the improvement and energising of company’s offshore competency scheme for Marine and Construction personnel. This has included some independent verification of portfolios.
• Detailed consultancy during 2021 to review and update the CMS system in line with industry practice.

Risk Based CMS development project

Major contract awarded to develop a CMS, based on the organisation’s own performance standards (derived from its barrier management strategy), for international drilling fleet.  This followed an extended review and selection process of international providers.  We have delivered an ambitious Phase 1 of this project on time, on price, and have been awarded Phase 2 of this project.

Putting good practice into place is central to this project, which also involves mapping the company’s performance standards into its competence framework.  Roll out on the first rig started recently and then a strategy to roll out on over 20 plus rigs will be planned and implemented.

Major E&P Production Company

We provided a range of consultancy services during a major reorganisation of its operations.  This includes the following main changes:

  • The in-sourcing of a range of training and competency services affecting onshore and offshore positions which had previously been outsourced to a major service company for 10 years
  • The recontracting of its main offshore services including Fabrication and Maintenance, Operations and Production and Asset integrity

Polaris Learning was contracted to redefine the training and competency requirements for all offshore positions affected by the re-contracting of major services. This included all positions within Fabrication and Maintenance (including onshore based managers), Operations and Maintenance personal, Deck and Emergency Roles.

We liaised with a variety of stakeholders to redefine the minimum training, qualification and competence requirements for all positions affected (around 30 roles in total).

We also liaised with service providers to ensure alignment of revised requirements and processes with their existing arrangements.

Development of Asset Integrity Competency Management System Framework for E&P Company

As part of the strategy to take key services in-house, Polaris Learning was tasked with developing a CMS framework for positions falling within the Asset Integrity Division.  Polaris Learning reviewed the department’s policies and key procedures (including the recently introduced “Asset Integrity Philosophy and Arrangements for Ageing Assets”).

Polaris Learning developed the framework across all levels and disciplines within the department by initially mapping out a framework based on:

  • Technical Competence
    • Integrity function fundamentals
    • Inspection techniques and actions
    • Integrity management of ageing installations
    • Integrity management processes
    • Corrosion management strategies and control schemes
    • Topsides (process facilities)
    • Topside (structural)
    • Pipelines
    • Subsurface Structures
  • Asset integrity operations management
    • (Plan) Plan and Priorities Inspection Activities
    • (Do) Implement and Coordinate Inspection Activities
    • (Review) Review Inspection Activities
  • Leadership
    • Provide leadership in your area of responsibility
    • Develop the performance of your team
    • Management review and improvement
    • Manage change within your area of responsibility

Reorganisation of Competence Approach for Offshore Productions for E&P Company

One of the main pieces of work was the development of a competency management system process for production roles.  The organisation had 3 false starts on this process during the previous 2 years.  Polaris Learning were tasked with pulling the processes together.  We also completed extensive research and consultation with stakeholders before proposing a model that designed competency with the employee development life cycle.

Polaris Learning then built a template for each of the 12 production assets to customise using the following model:

Stena Drilling: CMS and Execution Plan Health Check

CMS and Execution Plan Health Check

• Stena Drilling were looking for specialist support as they revised their CMS to streamline and finalise their revised CMS prior to implementation.• Polaris Learning prepared and delivered a detailed review of the revised CMS and execution plan, working very closely with the CMS team.
• This included a detailed review and benchmarking of their standards, assessment process, supporting procedures, alignment options and plans to update their online CMS system.
• Development of online assessor training to mirror the revised CMS set-up.

Training and Familiarisation for Brownfield Development for E&P Company

Polaris Learning were tasked with evaluating and formalising the formal training and assessment programme and presentation to the HSE for the Operations and Maintenance personal involved in the introduction of a new production facility on one of the client’s major field investments.

This involved the identification of any gaps within the training and development process, and pulling together all records within an established process.

IADC Accredited CMS

Development and implementation of organisation’s competency management system to ensure it is ready for working within European waters.

Polaris Learning provided the technical expertise to ensure the competency management system met these requirements by writing the necessary technical content for the critical positions. This included the provision of assessor and internal verifier training as well as onsite support services, including the achievement of IADC Accreditation.

Corporate Major Accident Prevention Policy (CMAPP) Requirements (CMS)

Development of a CMS framework for senior management of a drilling contractor based on its safety management system.  This focuses on the competencies required to prevent major accident hazards and the model as based on both technical, managerial and leadership competencies.

IMCA (International Marine Contractors Association)

Provision of consultancy to develop a competency model to reflect activities of the contractor’s association (ROV, Diving, Survey and Marine) and to align with the STCW code for marine positions.

SQA Assessor and Internal Verifier awards

Delivery of over 350 SQA awards to organisation’s offshore based crew as part of CMS implementation.

Online CMS development and implementation

Development of competency portfolios and then the roll-out of assessor and internal verifier training across the diverse fleet to support the implementation of the competency management system.

Production and Drilling Engineering Development of Competency Management for E&P Company

With the introduction of the OSPRAG working body and its recommendations to the UK sector, Polaris Learning was contracted to assist with the final stages of development of the competency management system arrangements covering related roles.

We led with the development of guidelines for the CMS framework competency writing and implementation as well as the establishment of supporting processes around assessment and internal verification. Polaris Learning also led with the development of the CMS guideline for the conduct and documentation of evidence and assessment activities.

On completion of the framework, Polaris Learning prepared and delivered the briefing sessions as well as more formal assessment and internal verification training for senior personnel conducting these responsibilities within the CMS. These sessions were rolled out to other senior personnel in the business following highly positive feedback.

Please note that the framework and practices implemented was identified by OSPRAG as an example of sound industry practice within its formal guidance on meeting the requirements.

Wells Competency Regulatory Audit for E&P Company

Polaris Learning was contracted to conduct a full independent audit across all positions affected by the Wells Competence guidelines. This was an extensive piece of work covering onshore and offshore production, operations, engineering, drilling and geology as well as offshore production and key contractors including a number of drilling contractors and well services companies providing critical positions.

The audit included a full desktop audit of systems and paperwork as well as onshore and offshore visits to drilling contractors identified for audit.

International Marine Contractor

Development and implementation of training and competency systems for the organisation’s dive support vessels including all diving and deck positions.

Working in partnership with the company to implement an online competence assessment system (CAS) across the organisation’s Dive Support Vessels.

Additional contracts to implement similar requirements for marine and technical positions.  Ongoing support to the training and competency manager.

Topaz Energy and Marine

The company needed to address the issue of competency for its diverse, international fleet.

Polaris Learning were initially contracted to provide guidance through to the first road testing of the new competence assurance and assessment scheme.

We used our CMS Health Check service to provide consistent guidance on the process and also our in-depth experience of working with the IMCA Competence Scheme to help TOPAZ get their approach right.  Following initial implementation, we were re-contracted to provide assessor training for initial roll out and then to provide remote assessor training using our online blended learning platform PLUS.

International Service Contractor

Provision of accredited assessor training to assist with the implementation of its CAMS programme which gained accreditation with OPITO.

This was followed with the provision of accredited internal verifier programme to a number of the organisation’s internal verifiers.

CMS Aligned to Downtool Reliability

A long-term relationship to assist the organisation development, and implement training and competency initiatives across its international operations.

The recent project focused on training and competency procedures and a cascade model for tool and workshop competency.

The CMS project was linked to the organisation’s drive to improve downhole reliability with the human element of performance requiring attention, which was addressed by designing the CMS around their organisation’s key processes.

OPITO CMS Implementation for an E&P client

Polaris Learning initially focused on the implementation of its existing CMS by providing a bespoke programme of assessor and internal verifier qualification to support the organisation’s training onsite at its UK sites.

This relationship has continued with a few important developments and extension of the services being provided, including the ongoing provision of assessor and verifier training and qualifications using a variety of delivery methods (class room and online).

We were then engaged by the company to assist with the re-launch and re-focus of the organisation’s CMS. This involves the following activities:

  • Development of revised guidance for CMS users
  • Training sessions for assessors and internal verifiers

OPITO CMS Set Up and Accreditation

We have helped 5 international clients to achieve OPITO CMS accreditation by providing assistance at different levels of setting up CMS processes and standards to implementation through accredited assessor and internal verifier training.

Well / Engineering Competence

This involved the development and implementation of engineering competency frameworks.

Satellite Working Relationship with International Energy Firm

Polaris Learning has helped more than 600 people to achieve the SQA L&D9DI and SQA L&D11 qualifications through an SQA Satellite Centre arrangement.  This has saved the company a significant amount in training costs.  At the same time, the competency management system’s KPIs relating to the role of assessors and verifiers have also improved with the North Sea rigs consistently recording high qualification achievement rates of 96% and high rates for competency of 98%.

Through this partnership, the client has developed a robust competency management system that has grown to include more senior personnel and been adopted in an increasing number of global locations.  The relationship has developed in recent years with the client being one of the early adopters of PLUS, the online and blended learning portal created by Polaris Learning.

Polaris Learning has also delivered various training courses on-site at, including L&D9DI for assessors and L&D11 for verifiers, with practical assessments carried out offshore. This has been supplemented by additional training courses for drilling and maintenance crews to support the OPITO-accredited competency scheme, and to assist those who wish to achieve further qualifications.

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