EMS -Training and Competency


Training and competency is one of the key elements to create a culture of compliance and build an effective Environmental Management System (EMS). There are three basic steps to develop and implement an effective training program.

 What to train on?

Every work level should have a defined role and a set of responsibilities with respect to the EMS.  Based upon the roles and responsibilities, create a training matrix. The training matrix will provide a quick reference to determine what level of training is required for each role. Review your permits and environmental plan documents to ensure that all required training elements have been identified and entered into the matrix.

Who should conduct the training?

While it may be tempting to have environmental training conducted by the environmental department, training is you more effective if conducted by the employees direct supervisor.  Supervisors have already established credibility with their direct reports and the training will be more effective coming from them.  A representative from the environmental department can support the training by assisting the supervisors with the development of the training materials and resources.

 How do you test for competency?

Training is an essential element to ensure that employees have the knowledge to do their work correctly. How can you test for competency and understanding?  As part of the training, the supervisor should use open-ended questions to test for comprehension.  Training should be a dialogue where employees can ask questions and offer up comments and suggestions.  This form of training engages the employee and is more effective than just a monologue by the person conducting the training.

Training and testing for competency is essential to the success of the EMS.  What’s methods have you found to be the most successful for training?  How do you test for competency?  Please feel free to provide comments and suggestions.


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