Competency Based Training — The Path to DG Workforce Performance

competency_training_wordcloudAt the recent Labelmaster Dangerous Goods Symposium (DGS) ,  Teun Muller, the Panel member nominated by The Netherlands to the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel provided an enlightening presentation on Competency Based Training.

He noted that the goal of competency-based training and assessment is to produce a competent workforce by providing focused training directly related to the employee’s responsibilities for transporting dangerous goods. CBT does so by identifying the key competencies that need to be achieved, determining the most effective way of achieving them and establishing valid and reliable assessment tools to evaluate their achievement. The goal is to ensure that each employee in the transport chain that performs functions related to the safe and compliant transport of dangerous goods is knowledgeable and equipped to perform the relevant functions effectively.

“I really believe that implementation of CBT will contribute to enhancing aviation safety, compliance and improvement of employee understanding and performance of responsibilities,” said Teun Muller.

The proposed changes will be included in the next edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions (2019-2020 edition) and 60th edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations  For the time being, the intent is that  competency based training will be encouraged but not made mandatory in the regulations.

The regulations will be clarified to indicate that the employer must ensure that personnel are competent to perform their assigned functions.  This is not new but just restated.  The tables that address training requirements, currently based on job title in the ICAO TI’s and IATA DGR, will be changed to reflect the functions that an employee performs.  A test will not be mandated but employees must be assessed in the workplace.  The new regulations will allow “on the job” demonstration of skills, random checks of competency, and  assessments of compliance,  which can be used to measure an employee’s  competency on a continuous basis.  It will be interesting to see how this will be enforced in practice.

Anyone involved in or subject to dangerous goods training is invited to review the new provisions here,  and to provide feedback through the completion of a survey  by 31 March 2017 here.

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