What is it?
CompeTrak™ is a flexible, low-cost database application to support integrated competence management and training systems. It is a vehicle for:
- Competence standards
- Prioritised employee assessments
- Training plans and records
- Planning renewal of assessments, training, medical certificates and passports
I have had years of experience in the fields of risk-based competence assurance and competence-based management. I brought this experience to bear in designing a system that is robust, low-overhead, and easy for assessors to use.
Why was it developed?
CompeTrak™ was designed to meet the needs of managers in hazardous industries who need robust systems to manage and assess critical competence. However, it can be used in any environment where structured and consistent assessment is important.
It was designed to support a layered assessment strategy that integrates competence assurance, training and performance management. It has a simple user interface, and requires minimal training of assessors.
What does it do?
CompeTrak™ can be used on a stand-alone basis but can also link directly to a development tool called RoleTrak™, which has been used in the nuclear and chemicals industries to map roles and analyse competence failure risk.
CompeTrak™ is designed to be used within a controlled CMS framework as the primary source of information on portfolio-based assessment. It can help you:
- Analyse the key competence roles required in your organisation and set meaningful standards
- Conduct competence assessments against a wide range of evidence and equipment or service types without a paper chase.
- Verify assessments at a glance across different assessors to ensure consistency.
- Record and cost-analyse future training requirements, completed training
- Check medical certificates, mandatory training certificates or passports due for renewal
- Store and retrieve assessment data for audit purposes.
- Generate reports of assessment progress, compliance and future requirements.
Who controls it?
You have complete control over the system and the standards used in it.
CompeTrak™ meets all the requirements of N/SVQ assessment systems, and follows the usual conventions of units, elements, etc.
However, it is not tied to any particular system and can be used equally with in-house competence standards and assessment processes.
We normally recommend that a Competence Management System custodian is appointed to monitor the system and control the standards, but this is very much a part-time role.
You can generate paper assessment forms if you wish, but it is so easy to use that assessors usually input portfolio-based assessments directly.
How does it work?
CompeTrak™ is a split database running under Microsoft® Access® (2002 or later), with a front-end program written in Visual Basic® for Applications. It has been run successfully on a Windows terminal server, with assessors using it from remote locations (including offshore) over a secure VPN connection and remote desktop. It comes complete with an online user manual.
How much does it cost?
CompeTrak™ is not a shrink-wrapped product, as it is designed to support competence management systems, not drive their structure. It will usually require a day or two of developer time to customise or scale it for your specific needs. But it is cheap to buy, needs minimal user training, and generally uses IT infrastructure you already have in place in your organisation. Contact me for a more precise quotation.
What are the benefits?
CompeTrak™ is tried and tested in demanding operational environments. It is currently in use in a large well engineering company, an engineering contractor, and an offshore operating company. It is relatively cheap, simple to use, and needs minimal maintenance. Its simplicity and clarity have proved popular with assessors, verifiers, and internal and external auditors.