When recently asked why Higher Safety have no expiry date on training certificates, my answer was “how long does competence last ?”
Most competence certification has a five year “life,” however this misses one key component of competence … experience. Someone who uses their training knowledge immediately, and stays working with the subject matter, grows in knowledge, skill and expertise. Their competence develops with time, and they become more competent.
Another, who attends a course and passes the test of understanding but never uses their knowledge, will quickly forget most of what they learnt. Their competence diminishes with time and they become increasingly incompetent.
Regular subject updates are required, as are points of reference for “reminders” and communication of any changes within the subject matter. These form part of the CPD required to stay on top of any subject, and must be the responsibility of the delegate. Equally, the extent of change within a given subject has a bearing. Significant product development, or Regulatory activity, will require greater attention than a static subject with little innovation.
How long should a certificate last ? .. it all depends, but I suggest that operatives using and developing skills regularly in an area of limited product development could stay competent for 4 or even 5 years ….. but managers looking across a wide range of work at height solutions types within which there is regularly significant development should perhaps look for refresher training between 3 and 4 years after initial certification.
What do you think ?