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>Competence Management System (CMS)

360 Environmental is one of the first consultancies to offer implementation of the Competence Management System to meet the Technical Competence requirements of an Environmental Permit.

This is an alternative to the WAMITAB Certificate of Technical Competence Scheme and enables businesses to satisfy their CoTC requirements as a corporate body rather than being reliant on a single person with the WAMITAB qualification.

Alongside its EMS and 14001 capabilities, 360 can now implement this to give a business cost effective CoTC compliance.

CMS has been developed by the Energy and Utility Skills Council. A summary of the system is shown below, taken from an EUSC presentation.

What is CMS

  • The Competence Management System Scheme was approved by Defra and Welsh Government on 21st July 2009 as a Scheme by which permit holders under the Environmental Permitting Regulations can demonstrate technical competence. The Scheme enables Operators to demonstrate technically competent management of permitted activities by establishing and maintaining a competence management system that is independently certificated as meeting the requirements of the Standard.
  • CMS enables Operators to demonstrate technically competent management on the basis of corporate competence and employees’ individual competence.
  • Individual competence remains a key component with each employee having the relevant technical competences required to carry out their role.
  • The Scheme allows Operators to organise their resources more effectively whilst deploying them in a way that ensures the site operation is technically competent at all times. 
  • CMS complements and embeds with existing management systems – enabling a systemic approach to competence.

The Standard

  • Sets out requirements of a competence management system.  
  • Is consistent with other recognised management system standards such as ISO 9001 and 14001 but provides requirements for the development and demonstration of Competence.

Certification

  • Operators are required to achieve and maintain Certification of their CMS against the Standard.  
  • Certification services will only be provided by Accredited Certification Bodies (ACBs) who are accredited to ISO17021* by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

ACB Role

  • Assessment and Certification of an Operator’s documented CMS against the Standard.
    • using auditors who have the capability to assess potential environmental consequences of non conformances associated with technical competence.
  • Includes:
    • Annual audit of Operator’s CMS (including review of internal audits) 
    • Identification of non-conformances – arrangements in practice that are not consistent with the Operators’ CMS
  • Withdrawal of Certification in the event of non-conformances that:
    • threaten adequate protection of human health and the environment
    • do not directly threaten adequate protection of human health and the environment but that have not been addressed within set time periods.
  • Feedback to the CMS Steering Group to enable improvements in the CMS Standard or the Scheme

Governance

  • A CMS Steering Group approves and reviews the key components of the Scheme
  • Terms of Reference have been developed
  • Membership has been selected from senior representatives with suitable experience to provide representation

Implementation

  • Operators will notify EU Skills  of successful Certification and any subsequent withdrawal, which will be recorded on the EU Skills’ Register and available to EA.
  • The EA Inspector will see a copy of the current CMS certificate on prominent display at the site, to provide confidence that the site has a robust system for managing technical competence, including technically competent persons, support systems, and controls.

Benefits of CMS

  • offers business benefits through effective deployment of competent resources
  • incorporates current practice in workforce development and management
  • encourages recruitment, training and career development, 
  • reflects established good practice in management systems
  • reinforces Operators’ commitment to and investment in management systems
  • enables a coherent combination of individual and corporate Competences, at all levels
  • delivers continuing competence through the embedded workforce development practices
  • is proportionate – technical competence is tailored to reflect the requirements of the activities
  • enables Better Regulation – Operators are accountable for compliance monitoring and audit, allows Agency inspection resources to be optimised and targeted towards the highest risks

Summary

  • The Competence Management System Scheme enables Operators to demonstrate technically competent management of permitted activities by establishing and maintaining a competence management system that is independently certificated as meeting the requirements of the CMS Standard.
  • Technical Competence is assured by:
    • The comprehensive, rigorous but appropriate requirements of the CMS Standard 
    • Formal Certification by an ACB, that the Operator’s CMS meets the requirements of the Standard. This is achieved by initial successful assessment and audit
    • External regular audit by the ACB to identify non-conformances using auditors who have the capability to assess potential environmental consequences of non conformances associated with technical competence
    • Withdrawal of Certification in the event that non-conformances threaten adequate protection of human health and the environment. 


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