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Cogent Skills – Hazardex 2019 Exhibitor Profile

30 November 2018

The development of the training standards for process safety in 2011 provided the opportunity for Cogent Skills and the Process Safety Management Competence Programme Board to develop a suite of courses that allowed the Process Safety Management programme to be rolled out in companies through a top down approach; starting at boardroom level and all the way through to operators.

Over 11,500 have now taken part in the Process Safety Management Competence Programme.

Process Safety Leadership for Senior Executives was launched in 2011, followed by Process Safety Management Foundations in 2012 for operational managers and supervisors, and Process Safety Management for Operations in 2013 for front line operators and maintenance personnel. The purpose of these standards was to provide a clear knowledge and understanding of the principles of process safety management across an organisation, and help organisations to develop and maintain a strong process safety culture.

Cogent Skills know that leadership is becoming increasingly important within industry, and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are keen to improve this in 2019. They want to see commitment to the delivery of training and coaching for board members and managers in process safety. The HSE state that it is essential that the momentum on improving competence in process safety management and leadership is maintained throughout the sector in order to ensure those involved in managing major hazard risks gain and maintain the knowledge and skills essential to avoid a major accident. They have recognised that the adoption of this standards-based approach can help companies achieve and demonstrate effective process safety management.

Achieving a milestone like this demonstrates the importance of senior leaders recognising their influence on the safe operation of hazardous processes worldwide. Demonstrating leadership, involving the workforce and building competence contributes substantially to the development and the rigorous management of a workplace health and safety and process safety culture. This training programme has been delivered worldwide and continues to progress within major hazard industries.

Now a barometer of competence in the major hazard industries, and described by the HSE as “best in class”, the Competent Authority will look favourably on organisations during routine inspections, if employers can evidence such training taking place. 

Neil Smith, Head of Workforce Development at Cogent Skills says, “It has been great to see participating employers reporting that their number of small-scale incidents has halved and this is particularly significant given the pattern that has emerged historically of all small incidents being the precursors to more serious incidents. Previously industry training tended to focus on the technical aspects of a job and not set these in the context of process safety. Now there is a much greater understanding of the efficacy of process safety, of what processes should be in place and why”.

If you would like to find out more about Cogent Skills, or speak to them ahead of the HazardEx conference in February, you can contact them on 01325 740900 or email

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