High-impact incidents across the oil and gas industry have demonstrated the fundamental need to ensure competency of personnel working with safety critical equipment or performing safety critical operations. The initial requirement for competencies focused on operational employees. Due to the fundamental role that the HSE function plays in supporting sustainable HSE strategies, the industry now expects HSE function employees to be included in competency programs to ensure consistent availability of expertise on HSE technical matters.

Career development programs are often focused on disciplines directly involved with “front line operations” such as engineers, geologists, and operators. In many cases, standardized competencies and skills have not been defined for HSE function employees. Consequently, it can be challenging to evaluate HSE technical and behavioral competencies as part of development plan discussions for HSE professionals. Furthermore, career development discussions are frequently based purely on geographic needs, thereby creating inconsistencies in skill levels for the different HSE positions across the organization.

This paper discusses a process to determine the required technical and non-technical skills and knowledge that are based on company and industry needs, and determine how those skills are analyzed against the level of proficiency expected by the function. This process establishes critical factors for success to enable the organization's HSE function to improve as a whole through enhanced knowledge, skills, and abilities for the HSE staff. A standardized program for the HSE function fosters better overall performance through the availability of consistently competent and knowledgeable HSE resources to support operational efforts.

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