How Can I Evaluate and Document the Competence of an Employee?

K

Ken K

#1
Competence

ISO is putting an emphasis on employee competence in their revised specifications.

How would you evaluate the competence of an employee?

How would you document the competence of an employee?


And finally...who in your opinion shall determine if an employee is competent

Employer or auditor?
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
#2
The employer calls it.

Ok… I’ll bite….

Evaluate:

I would ask myself if the employee is able to perform the task at hand. If so, you have a competent employee.

Document:

Lack of competence should lead to a training and / or education plan.

Determine:

The employer hired the person, in order to get a job done. The employer shall also determine the necessary competence for the employee. Of course the auditor can voice an opinion, but the employer must determine if the employee is competent.

/Claes
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#3
Ken,

I agree with Claes.

You probably already do this so don't sweat it. The employer, usually the employee's trainer, supervisor or manager, determines competence. Can they do the job properly?

To document, we do a simple form where we list the employee's name, the task(s) they are "certified" or "authorized" to perform, the trainer's/certifier's name, date, and signatures.

Make sense?
 
K

Ken K

#4
Makes Sense

I'm writing a procedure to cover Section 5.2 in ISO 17025.

We currently do a yearly employee evaluation. It covers job performance, goals accomplished, job responsibility priorites, an assessment of potential, training / educational needs, goals for upcoming evaluation period.

So I guess we have everything covered. I'll just insert a link to the form we use.



I always get this nightmarish scenario running through my mind before an audit. As we're going through the audit, the auditor screams out..."you incompetent *******!"
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#5
Ken,

Understood about the stress.

All I would add is a reference to how you evaluate employee competence in the beginning -- when deciding whether or not to hire -- and then how you decide when they can start to make product/do their assigned tasks on their own (before the first yearly evaluation). Then I think you're covered, but I'm not familiar with ISO 17025. Good luck.
 
R

RosieA

#6
Hey Ken,

If you are doing yearly employee appraisals then you probably have competence covered.

I had a problem because our Union contract does not allow annual performance reviews. :frust: Therefore, we had no appraisal format.

My management kept pointing to training records, thinking that training alone makes you competent. It took awhile to get the message across that being able to do the minimum tasks required for a job makes you qualified…being able to perform those tasks effectively over time makes you competent. You cannot determine competency the day that training is completed.

We came up with a simple 1 page form that is filled out by the Floor Supervisor once a year to cover it. It doesn't violate the contract, and it isn't a review. It's just documentation.
 
#7
KISS Principle

For the training part of the new hire competency we modified our training checklist to add a column the supervisor or senior operator doing the training initials indicating the individual demonstrated the skill properly.

On our annual performance appraisals we added a line on the sign off sheet the employee and supervisor signs that says the employee is competent in thier job. If the employee is not competent, then there is an area to develop a training plan.

So all we did was add a column and a line. We did also talk with the supervisors and the senior operators to let them know what the expectations were for the new areas. We got little to no resistance to the changes. :D
 
#8
Minimal documentation

I have a client that has about 20 folks. They built a matrix showing the tasks and the names and then rate the employees on each task (whether they perform it or not). The rating is:

0 = Unaware of task
1 = They have awareness, but cannot perform
2 = They can perform, but need supervision
3 = They can perform without supervision
4 = They can instruct others

A number 4 doesn’t have to be an expert, and a number 3 might be an expert. To get to number 4 the employee must be able to show they have the ability to train others (patience, communicative skills, etc)

That is the only documentation they have, unless someone attends a class and comes back with a piece of paper. The supervisors are responsible for deciding who is at what level and changing the level as time progresses.
 

gpainter

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
More confusion!!! 6.2.1 tells one that you should be competent on the basis of the 4 listings. So, a signoff that you hired based on 1 or more of the 4 competencies (e.g. hired a welder based on his welding cert.). 6.2.2 b) or take other actions to satisify these needs. What are other actions?? C) says you must evaluate the effectiviness of actions taken. So, if you read the standard if one trains and takes no other actions, no evaluation needed. Just one take on it and of course the employer determines competence.
 
R

RosieA

#10
Every situation is different, and Registrars have varying interpretations, however...

I believe that competency has to be evaluated from time to time. Situations change: people get moved to other jobs and get rusty, people age and lose agility (I can attest to that one!):biglaugh: and tools, materials, and technology change. One time training will not ensure that the trainee remains competent over time.

That's why we have to renew certifications and licenses periodically.

So an approach that relies on a static assessment doesn't really address the issue of competency over time. I think to meet the spirit of the requirement, we must have a periodic method for determining competency.
 
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