A workplace competency is a description of a required skill, attribute or behavior for a specific job used to define and measure an individual's effectiveness. Competencies are arranged into a framework that brings together a number of job roles and the required capabilities that the job holder must possess or acquire in order to perform his job effectively.

In our industry we have seen the concept of the Competent workforce morph from being one with the worker who is in a position because of his experience of many years into an individual who is trained and assessed, then reassessed on an ongoing basis to ensure continued effectiveness in whatever position he holds and certainly to ensure that he/ she can be successful in another assigned position.

The lifting industry in which we operate is not necessarily one in which paper/ written tests provide the necessary oversight on what we do and especially in this critical sphere, jobs may also be done under various weather conditions that cannot be defined/ measured through any description that is written about in the text books.

Competency must therefore go hand in hand with standards. Standards are implemented In order to manage and control the risks associated with lifting operations. It is therefore vital to not only have a competent work force but standards that regulate and provide guidelines when undertaking lifting operations or providing lifting equipment for others to use to avoid any injury or damage.