Useful day last week at “Building leadership and technical capability in high hazard operations” (, presenting a paper with Robin Turney on our work with IChemE developing and delivering ‘Process Safety Management for the Board’.   Having spent the previous day with Yule Catto working on the same subject, we now know this to be a robust way of engaging a company’s board in building a shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities in ensuring the safety of operations in hazardous industries and, especially, in building a shared picture of the reality of their operations, risks and risk management.  We’re getting consistent feedback that executive teams really value the space and time to debate this most important of issues, within a framework that helps them to understand the implications and identify what they want to do about it.


While the next steps for such organisations depends upon their progress along a journey, central to the workshop’s debates was the question of identifying and assessing competencies of those with safety-critical roles.  While there’s no silver bullet, today’s working groups developed ideas for identifying the roles, the competencies and the approaches to assessment.


I think there’s a potential framework for thinking about this by combining the ideas behind asset integrity, corporate capability and risk management.  Competence and culture become links between maintaining integrity and resilience, and delivering performance.  The real beauty of such a framework is that it leads quickly to prioritised and pragmatic action – within management structures that are already in place.


Thinking continues to flesh this out.