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IET code of practice on engineering competence

04 June 2015

You are invited to comment on a new Code of Practice which aims to help you assess and maintain the competence of your engineering staff in safety-critical industries.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET's) new Code of Practice: Competence Criteria for Safety-Related Systems Practitioners has been redrafted following a major revision. Now, a technical working group will be consulting with a wider international stakeholder group to ensure that the document is of maximum value to diverse industries from different countries that develop, maintain and operate safety critical systems.

Lead technical author, Carl Sandom says that human factors are widely recognised as a frequent cause of safety-critical systems hazards and the new document will aim to address this important issue along with many other significant changes from the original document.

The purpose of the Code of Practice will be to help companies assess and maintain the competence of their engineering staff. It will set out the competencies expected and evidence required to prove competence in specific tasks and helps organisations create schemes for monitoring and measuring the competencies of its employees.

“Globalisation often leads to the use of sub-systems and components from different countries within safety-related systems architectures; this has resulted in a global requirement for competent people," says Mr Sandom. "The new code of practice aims to have broad global appeal to multiple industries. It is why we are inviting industry stakeholders of different nationalities to get involved in the wider consultation of this work.”

The new Code of Practice will be of interest to any industry where safety-critical systems are in use, including energy, transport, defence, aerospace and healthcare. It will be aimed at those responsible for safety and competency in any organisation, including functional safety managers, safety engineers, chief engineers, senior safety & HR personnel, and operational managers.

The consultation is open until the end of September. For more information, or to get involved in the consultation, contact Andrew Cooney from IET Standards via email: or 'phone him on 01438 765666.

The Code of Practice will be published in January 2016.

Les Hunt

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