Northern Powergrid has set the standard for distribution network operators (DNOs) as it becomes the first to achieve certification of its Competence Management System (CMS) from UKAS-accredited Certification Body, Lloyds Register.
Developed by Energy & Utility Skills on behalf of its waste management, water and power industry members, the Competence Management System is based on the recognition that all employees’ individual competence contributes to a site’s performance.
The Competence Management System is a scheme approved by Defra and Welsh Government, enabling operators to demonstrate technically competent management of their permitted activities.
The achievement supports Northern Powergrid’s on-going commitment to environmental management and operational competence and embedding best practice procedures across its organisation, from senior management to frontline colleagues.
Northern Powergrid’s certification, based on the Competence Management System Standard, establishes lasting benefits for the development and performance of its workforce. It enables its management teams to optimise the effective and productive deployment of resources across sites, reducing the risk of downtime. In turn, customers and industry across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, are assured that the people powering their homes and businesses have audited, measurable processes in place to plan for and deliver the highest standard of work.
The certification also satisfies the technical competence requirements of Northern Powergrid’s stringent environmental permits, supporting the company’s mission to ensure environmental awareness, best practice and legal compliance amongst all its people, as outlined in its robust Environmental Policy Statement.
Geoff Earl, Northern Powergrid’s Director of Safety, Health and Environment, said: “Being the first electricity distribution network company in the UK to be Competence Management System certified is a great achievement for our team. We’re always focused on reducing the environmental impact of our operations, wherever we can.
“Being part of the Environment Agency approved Competence Management System scheme means we can ensure we have clear and consistent procedures in place to manage our waste. It also underlines our commitment to train our people to the highest standards enabling them to demonstrate the technical competencies required to deliver robust environmental management every day to the benefit of our customers and the communities we power.”
Nick Ellins, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills, said: “Northern Powergrid has put a relentless focus on the competence of its people, and driving performance across the sites it operates for its community. In doing so, they now become the first Distribution Network Operator to achieve certification under the Competence Management System, that is rapidly becoming adopted as an industry benchmark.
“I congratulate them on securing this achievement and applaud their work to keep seeking ever higher performance standards.”
The Competence Management System provides a host of benefits to employers: It raises awareness of environmental permits amongst employees, recognises business and role-specific training, and enables the best use of people resources. Businesses like Northern Powergrid can reduce logistical issues, incident response times, costs, and potential risks (including the risk of site downtime), all while maintaining business operational continuity and compliance.