We recognise that the competency of our employees is key to ensuring that we get the job done right the first time, safely while providing great customer service – key ingredients of a sustainable business. We have invested significant time, effort and money into ensuring that we manage competence correctly, it is our policy that all personnel have the relevant knowledge, skills and expertise to perform their work safely and to consistently high standards so that everybody has a chance to achieve their full potential.
Training and development are an integral part of our operation, we deliver over 120 different training courses to our managers, staff and operatives relevant to their roles in the utilities and traffic management industries. We follow a continuous programme of appraisal, training and development with a clear focus on managing competence rather than just providing training.
Competence is not just training, rather a mix of skills, knowledge, ability, training and experience. Our competence model is based on providing training with practical assessments wherever possible followed up by ongoing assessments to monitor individuals using their skills, and to check their retained knowledge.
Example - Avoiding danger from underground services
An example of how we manage competence comes with our efforts in avoiding danger from underground services. At Gallagher we openly worked with our industry partners to create a shared industry standard for ‘safe digging’, a real first within the industry. We were early adopters of the new standard and updated our processes to manage ongoing competence as follows.
EUSR - Locating Utility Services Training Course
- Deliver classroom training
- Complete a knowledge test
- Conduct one-to-one instruction and practical assessment
Ongoing Monitoring & Assessment
- Frequent inspections by their supervisor to monitor competence
- Download the individual’s cable locator usage data each month
- Provide direct feedback to the individual
- Conduct ongoing on-site assessments of competence (formal assessment)
While this is an example of one area of competence, we follow the same process for a number of our safety and quality related competencies. Where we identify that an individual is unable to demonstrate ongoing competence we arrange for one-to-one on the job instruction with a formal knowledge and practical assessments or they attend the training course again.