Cogent Skills recently won the Chemical Industry Service Provider of the Year award at the Chemical Industry Awards in June. As a proud achievement, we have pulled together a short Case Study on our background of winning the award, including what we did, why we did it and the benefits obtained.


 

By Alex Slater, Head of Business Operation at Cogent Skills

Cogent Skills has been at the forefront of Process Safety Management (PSM) training for major hazard industries for over 9 years, with a focus on delivering a high quality, culture change Process Safety programme that has made a positive impact in companies in the Chemical sector.

In 2009 industry leaders identified a gap in the market place for robust Process Safety training addressing cultural change and a deeper understanding of Process Safety throughout the whole organisation.  Cogent Skills became a founding member of the PSM Competence Programme Board (PSMCPB) helping to define its aim to design industry standards that can be recognised throughout the sector. Together, we created an industry wide solution by engaging industry experts, trade organisations and experienced providers (HFL, PIC, Hastam, and ABB) to design and develop industry training standards and materials that address the process safety skills and knowledge deficit.

We continue to work closely with thought leaders in the field of process safety management through our partners on the PSMCPB including the HSE, CIA, professional bodies, employers and unions to maintain the status of the PSM Training Standards and the quality of the delivery network, so that they continue to be recognised by the Competent Authority as providing a benchmark for process Safety awareness training across all major hazard industries.

As a not-for-profit skills organisation, Cogent Skills acts as the custodian of the PSM Training Standards, with the remit to engage employers across major hazard industries; encouraging them to adopt the Standards and managing the commissioning and delivery of high quality PSM courses.  We see this a key role for a skills organisation like ourselves and we are proud that the programme is having such an impact.

Since 2010 we have engaged 15,460 people and 267 unique employers in Process Safety management training, of which 6,684 people and 61 unique companies are from the chemical sector.

All the PSMCPB approved courses are equally relevant to COMAH and non COMAH sites, where operators are handling or processing hazardous materials, and could be exposed and vulnerable to explosion, loss of containment, or other major accident hazards which may pose a threat to the environment or public.

In addition, Cogent Skills supports companies to review, design, and develop good practice in Competency Management Systems. These solutions enhance the Process Safety Management courses, enabling organisations to have a better understanding of how to recognise the competencies of their staff in relation to their business and safety critical scenarios and how to address any gaps.

Together our programmes embed capability within high hazard organisations to ensure that they have competent staff – making them more efficient, effective and safe in their site operations, and providing the ability to benchmark against good process safety practices.

Trade organisations including the CIA have reported a reduction in the number of reportable incidents in the chemical industry, and whilst these improvements cannot solely be attributable to the delivery of the Cogent Skills training, the PSM programme is likely to have made a positive contribution.


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