Health and Safety Consultants & Accreditation Experts


What is a Competent Person in Health And Safety

A competent person is an individual that provides the correct amount of ability, knowledge and skills that allows them to recognise and prevent hazards within workplaces and help them put a range of suitable controls in place to protect people from harm.

It is important that a competent person has the correct experience in your sector to ensure that they are familiar with the hazards and risks and how to manage them. It is vital to identify the appropriate level of health and safety competency which is required for each circumstance.

Throughout this blog, we will be exploring what qualifications a competent person needs, what their job role is and more. For more information read on.


Competent Person Accreditations and Qualifications

First of all, there aren’t any specific accreditations or qualifications required to be a competent person. That being said, the level of skills and experience required all depends on the working environment - for example, whether it is a building site or a small business operating from an office.

In practical terms, the NEBOSH qualifications and IOSH accreditations are benchmarks levels of competency. It is important to have a competent person in your workplace, not only is it a legal requirement, but having an appointment competent person is vital to ensure the safety of people in your workplace.


Should you Have an In-House or External Competent Person?

Before we start discussing whether you should have an internal or external competent person, it is important that you understand the basics of what it is. There are two different types of competent people in the workplace in house and external.

When the competent person is in-house, it makes things much easier to observe employees working activities. An in-house competent person is an individual who has the opportunity to address any issues when health and safety procedures aren’t being followed.

Having a competent person in your workplace is essential to ensure that any potential risks or hazards within the business are acted upon in line with the health and safety legislation to help keep people safe from harm.

The biggest difference between the two competent people is that one works in-house and the other works externally. In-house refers to someone who works within the workplace whereas externally is when you hire someone from another company to do the work for you.

If there are many hazards in the business, then it is more important to manage the risks on a daily basis with the appropriate skills. Moreover, the larger the business, the more health and safety activities there are to deal with.

In this case, an in-house competent person is appropriate as they need to be actively involved in the business to keep an eye on any risks or hazards. This is not as easy for an external person as they have not been present within the workplace enough to know what risks and hazards they are dealing with.

An external composite person is recommended for smaller businesses as they won't need to be there on a day-to-day basis to deal with any risks or potential hazards. But who exactly is in charge of health and safety within the workplace? Take a look at our blog to find out!


Is a Competent Person Important?

A competent person is able to identify existing or potential hazards within their workplace. It is important that they have the correct authority to allow them to take corrective measures to eliminate the risks.

Without a competent person, there is a higher chance of risks and hazards occurring. The majority of workplace incidents may lead to slightly lower worker competency. If in certain incidents employees didn’t notice the hazard and someone was to get injured, then you would have to report the incident through RIDDOR.

This is why a competent person is important to save you the hassle of filling out any incident forms as well as ensure the safety of anyone in the workplace.



Here at Beaconrisk, we offer a range of e-learning courses and accreditations to help a variety of customers protect their workplace, business and reputation. We deliver simple, realistic health, safety and environmental management solutions to make sure that you are compliant.

For more information on the courses we offer, make sure to visit our e-learning section on our website. If you have any questions contact us today at 0151 647 8658.