Risk-based assessment techniques for individual Skills Recognition competencies

Risk-based training needs analysis activities (RBTNA) are being used more and more within safety-critical environments such as rail and according the UK’s Rail Safety and Standards Board, the RBTNA process is a means of identifying how risks associated with tasks can be minimised through learning, assessment and competence management activities, aligned to both learner and business needs.         

According to RSSB, a RBTNA brings together a formative assessment of three factors that are thought to influence the performance of an individual for a given task or competency. These factors can further be assessed using a simple scale of five:


Difficulty:        Relates to the learning, competence retention and performance.

                                    1          =          Not difficult

                                    3          =          moderately difficult to learn, retain or perform

                                    5          =          Difficult to perform accurately

 

Importance:    The significance of the task to the operation, the degree of risk and consequences of error.

                                    1          =          Low importance, consequence or risk

                                    3          =          Medium importance, consequence or risk

                                    5          =          High importance, consequence or risk

           

Frequency:      Relates to how often the task is performed and the danger of knowledge or skills diminishing over time if not practiced regularly.

                                    1          =          Infrequent (say less than once every two weeks)

                                    3          =          frequently (say one every three days)

                                    5          =          Very frequent (say once per day)

 

Taken together an assessment of these three elements can indicate the extent to which Skills Recognition could be used for a given situation. Using a nominal scale of say 5 for high and 1 for low, a numeric assessment can be made by multiplying the Difficulty x Importance x Frequency = Risk Assessment ( D X I X F = RA).

Example

Consider the skills recognition risk assessment activity for a Frontlint Management Qualification Certificate Level III gained in another industry. This request was initiated by the employee who was keen to avoid unnecessary workplace training and accelerate promotion prospects in a new organisation.

Background: In this case the applicant is a newly arrived infrastructure worker with previous supervisory experience in the construction industry and shows the potential to become a track-side team leader.

Using the risk based analysis model in Stage 1 it can be taken as a given (in this case) that the idea is feasible and the cost/benefit of recognising these skills could be high, so the only question that might arises is the level of risk from recognising this qualification. If the risk is low the organisation would proceed without hesitation, however if the risk was low, the organisation would proceed with caution (see Stage 1).

                               Scale: 5 = high and 1 = low

            Qualification/ Unit Standards offered for Skills Recognition

Competency Unit

D

I

F

Total

Value

Managing work priorities

5

5

5

125

High

Managing safety

5

5

5

125

High

Managing people

5

3

3

45

Med

Managing operations

3

5

5

65

Med

Managing customer service

3

1

1

3

Low

Developing people

3

3

3

27

Low

In this example, the end result of a DIF assessment indicates that three units of competence within the Frontline Management Qualification (managing safety, managing operations and managing work priorities) are evaluated key areas for the organisation. An assessor would therefore need to be sure the unit standards contained within the qualification aligned with the organisations requirements.