I am reviewing our health and safety training requirements and have noted that both the word “competence” and “competency” are being used in various HSE documents. Is there a difference between the two?

Q

I am reviewing our health and safety training requirements and have noted that both the word “competence” and “competency” are being used in various HSE documents. Is there a difference between the two?

A

As an example of how both words are being used, HSE publication HSG 65: Managing for Health and Safety states that “truly effective health and safety management requires competency across every facet of an organisation and through every level of the workforce.”

It then continues by stating that “competence of individuals is vital, whether they are employers, managers, supervisors, employees or contractors, especially those with safety-critical roles …..as it ensures they recognise the risks in their activities and can apply the right measures to control and manage those risks”.

The

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