Competency Assurance Management Systems (CAMS)
The Delton Group has had active involvement in designing, developing, installing and maintaining CAMS and associated CAMS training activities for its clients around the world.
Developing solutions to address challenges have resulted in a range of strategies that have been applied:-
- Correct scoping and approach to work-based assessment
- Clearly defining the assessment process methodology
- Accurately identifying skills-gaps in terms of work-based training
- Defining the ‘standards’ to be applied (in-house and/or internationally recognised Awarding Organisations – City & Guilds/SQA for example)
- Correct choice of the Examining and Awarding Bodies to which the outcomes and subsequent qualifications are to be aligned.
As the above projects demonstrate, there are numerous international organisations able to provide the necessary assessment and tracking tools and the industry ‘Standards’ to be applied.
The choice as to which CAMS standards are to be implemented, very much depends upon the following:-
- the location of the ‘Asset’ concerned
- the preference of the Asset’s Competence team
- the ‘parent’ organisation’s established working culture and vision.
A number of the challenges encountered by Delton Training and its clients are detailed below:-
- Before implementing a CAMS related project Delton Training requests that the client carefully considers and clarifies the following:-
- ‘Why’ undertake such a project? – HSE, Production efficiency levels etc.
- Define the company ‘Expectations’ and ‘Defined Outcomes’ for doing so.
Once clarified, the answers form the foundation upon which the CAMS project is built
The following constraints to successful management of the project need to be taken into account:-
- The costs and the time-frames required in order to achieve the objectives are too often underestimated
- Correct setting of realistic goals and KPI’s, agreed with the management team,
- Setting and managing the project expectations with the client’s management team and to ensure that the stakeholders ‘buy-in’ to the project (includes the CAMS team, plant managers, supervisors and the workforce being assessed).
- Understanding that by implementing one single set of desired Outcomes/ Qualifications and ‘Standards’ to be applied across both an international and multi-cultural playing field may not be the best option
- Delton Training’s preferred option is to ‘partner’ with or ‘extrapolate’ from, various Standards Organisations and Awarding Bodies and implement a system that best suits the operational requirements and culture of the company.
Note: Some of the major IOC’s have already found this to be the most workable methodology
- The outcomes/qualifications to be applied also require consideration with regard to: the accreditation to be achieved; Internationally Recognised Qualifications; Company’ Qualifications; Asset Location Qualifications etc
- If not an internal ‘Competency’ qualification; then choosing the appropriate Awarding Body/Examining Body qualification, for example: City & Guilds; NCVQ; SQA; BTEC/EDEXCEL; TAFE; IFP; etc, is also an issue that requires consideration as to the merits, suitability and achievability, before the decision is made, as a change later can mean a major change of direction for all concerned
- Project Management and/or applying a global philosophy could be an issue, as the integrity of the programme can depend on the credibility of those directly involved, in addition to the ‘macro-management’ of the programme
- How the Competency Team will be formed and what authority will they have is also an important factor. The team comprising: Lead/Senior/Coordinator, Competency-based Assessors, On-Job-Trainers and Quality Assurance/Internal Verifiers reporting to the Competency Manager and the interface within the line
- How the CAMS programme and philosophy is sold to management and implementation teams’ is essential to its acceptability and sustainability. To ensure a company ‘buy-in’, Delton Training have pre-empted CAMS implementation by conducting presentation sessions to head office, and site based personnel who will be involved with the project
- The assessment process itself is not an end in itself, but a means to an end and the subsequent ‘Skills Gap Elimination Programme (SGEP, Training Programme) is key to achieving the desired competency levels. Training, both OJT and in a training environment, is an essential component of any CAMS programme
- ‘Incentive’ is a factor to the success of introducing a CAMS programme and at all levels within any organisation. Within the management and supervisory levels, it has to be seen to be of sufficient benefit to dedicate a given part of their time to ensuring that the programme is successful, and for them to be happy to release their team to assist in the assessment, training and verification process
- The candidates themselves, need to be comfortable that the CAMS process will have long-term benefits for them, both career-wise and financially
In the bullet points above, we have mentioned budgets, time-frames, incentives, culture and sustainability. Delton Training is very much aware that a well-structured and efficient CAMS Programme and clear identification of SCT’s and SCR’s, will add a strong ‘Capability Development’ route map to an organisation