Competency Management Systems

  • "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

Making Your Competency Management System Work First Time

For the oil and gas industry, renewables industry, aviation industry, manufacturing industry and construction industry

Whether you work in the oil and gas industry, the renewables industry, manufacturing or construction, there are some steps that you can take to make sure that you do not have an over complicated competency management system that nobody knows how to use

Tip 1: Be Clear On The Trends Affecting Your Industry

Are you aware of and understand the trends in your industry?  What are your clients looking for?  Are any industry bodies starting to have more influence?  Have there been any incidents or near misses that will influence your industry’s approach to competence?

Tip 2: Your Organisation’s Assessment Process – Will It Really Be Achievable?

When thinking about the assessment process that you will put in place, first think about whether it will realistically work in your work place.  What looks good on paper may not be achievable in a busy work place.

Tip 3: Do You Have The Resources To Sustain This Assessment Process?

It is helpful to think at the start about how you are going to manage the assessment process.  Do you have the right number of assessors?  Where are you going to record the information?  Who is going to run the process?

Tip 4: Take A Risk Profiling Approach – Avoid Being Swamped

It is unlikely that you can create competency portfolios for every position or assess every position.  To help you be clear on where to focus, prioritise the job positions and tasks where there is the greatest level of risk.

Tip 5: Focus On The Key Competencies – Do Not Get Distracted

Stay focused on the core competencies for each role.  Identify the competencies where each person in that role must be competent and focus on these first.  Making it clear in your assessment process the priority order for assessing the competencies can also be helpful.


  • Make it risk based
  • Focus on key competencies
  • Ensure it fits with BMS / Company Operations
  • Simplify language / make it user friendly
  • Draw a map!


  • Over-rely on off the shelf competencies
  • Overload with secondary competencies
  • Assume that national or international standards ensure a good fit
  • Use ‘national standards’ language
  • Duplicate / Overlap


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