Assuring technical competence
Enabling a safe, competent and transferable workforce
Connected Competence commands a base level of technical competence assurance for workers across the engineering and construction industry, which employers recognise and support in demonstrating the current competence of its workforce.
Developed by some of the UK’s largest contracting organisations
Connected Competence is an industry-driven initiative that is supported and enabled by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB). Developed with some of the UK’s largest contracting companies, each one has committed to working together to use standardised training and testing based on the ECITB’s technical tests. The result? A safer, more competent workforce.
Standardising engineering skill sets
Basic technical competence should be a given. However, across the Engineering Construction sectors there has been little consistency in a standardised approach to enable this skills transfer, also supported by a testing infrastructure which confirms current and relevant technical competence – until now.
Technical Tests include knowledge questions applicable to specific test activity before a practical exercise is undertaken. These tests are conducted at an ECITB test centre, which are spread out across the UK. Once successfully completed, Connected Competence is valid for 3–4 years, depending on the specialist trade. At the end of this period, the test is renewed by workers refreshing their technical competence. There is no increase in difficulty – reward is the ongoing achievement of standardised and continuous base technical competence aligned to National Occupational Standards.
Engineering a transferable future
Until recently, workers have often been ‘assigned’ to certain sectors within the Engineering Construction Industry. A pipefitter in oil and gas would stay a pipefitter in oil and gas – not seen as technically competent to apply skills in another sector. Connected Competence aims to recognise the generic skills transfer which will support a resilient, transferable workforce and aid the energy transition.
Workers will also manage their own competence, ensuring recognition of their competence achievements move with them, be it when they change jobs within a sector, or transfer to another one. The benefits for workers? Having transferable ownership of their own attainments without risk of them being withheld by employers. And for employers and stakeholders? Reduced time chasing certificates, no duplication of training courses, lower overall costs, and a standardised, technically competent – and, above all, safe – workforce.
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