December 21, 2021


Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) Considers the options to manage competence effectively with an operational MCC.

Competence should be defined as a measurable skill or standard of performance, knowledge, and understanding, taking into consideration attitude and behaviour.

Firstly to agree on what we mean by competence

  • In general, competence is looking at the ability of the person to perform the task or activity in an effective way, having adequate background knowledge, and the capacity to promote a full understanding of relevant manuals documentation and applicable organizational processes.
  • The employee has the necessary background, experience, and knowledge appropriate to the job role.
  • In addition, the employee also understands the company process and procedures which are relevant to the job role.

Cleary then we should see that there are 2 elements to this process

  • Means the competence expectation placed on the employee.
  • Together with the obligation placed on the organisation to provide an appropriate level of training to ensure the employee also has the necessary organizational knowledge.

To complete the picture we need a process to assess the compliance with the various objectives which we need to consider to show effective management of the Competence Management Process.

So let’s consider how we can measure the effectiveness of the Competence Process

  • A competent employee will usually be an efficient employee.
  • People who know what they are doing and how to do it in the correct way are able to support the optimization of organizational efficiency.
  • A low level of quality assurance audit findings around the business areas will serve to identify that “in general” people are familiar with their obligations and they are performing in accordance with the documented process and procedures.
  • Low level of human error also provides an indication that things are running smoothly. (There is a significant connection between competence and human factor error, where often the lack of competence becomes a pre-cursor to a particular event.)
  • Employees who are treated with respect and provided with support, guidance, and training tend to be more productive and to stay longer with the organisation.

How is the Competence Assessment Process Managed?

  • The system should be managed to a defined company standard, (which meets or exceeds EASA Requirements)
  • Those managing the system should have a full understanding of the needs of the competency system

How is this Management Evidenced?

  • Is the Competence Management Procedure Fully Documented?
  • The Competence Management Procedure should be fully described in such a way that there is consistent delivery across the business.
  • Consider that allowing individual managers to set the standard without a Mechanism to measure may not deliver a consistent process.
  • How are the various standards defined for each role?
  • Are the standards identified in sufficient detail to allow a consistent and standardized measurement to be delivered?
  • How is a consistent measure of the performance delivered?
  • What processes, techniques, or mechanisms are available to promote effective measurement of performance?

Competence may be assessed by evaluation of:

  • On-the-job performance and/or
  • Testing of knowledge by appropriately qualified personnel, and
  • Experience records.
  • There are a number of ways in which Competence may be assessed and the organization has the prerogative to determine the processes which best suit its organization
  • For each of the chosen techniques the organization should be able to:

o   Demonstrate it works?
o   Demonstrate the measure of Effectiveness
o   Show how it is managed
o   Identify how the standard of testing is maintained (assessment, testing & training of testers)

Following Competence Assessment

As a result of competence assessment, an individual’s qualification should determine:

  • Acceptability of the candite to perform the required role
  • Whether there is a need for additional training

Developing Job Descriptions

  • Have you identified each position within your company that needs competence assessment?
  • A good job description provides employees with an identified understanding of their respective roles, and the person’s function.
  • It should also clarify any aspects that require particular mention, for example, roles that fulfil organisational mandatory responsibilities.
  • In addition, all Job Descriptions should have appropriate visibility.
  • Consider a job description as a profile or summary of a job.

o   The job description needs to communicate clearly and concisely what responsibilities and tasks the job entails

o   In addition to identifying, the key qualifications of the job

o   The basic requirements (specific credentials or skills) – and,

o   If possible, the attributes that underscore ideal performance,

o   in addition to identifying any additional or recurrent training.

    • Title of the position
    • Department or business area responsible
    • Reports to (to whom the person directly reports)
    • Persons Reporting to this position
    • Overall responsibility
    • Key areas of responsibility
    • Consults with (those who the person works with on a regular basis)
    • Term of employment (Full Time / Part-Time)
    • Basic Qualifications (necessary skills and experience required)
    • Additional Qualifications (In Company Training?)
    • Recurrent Training required for the position

General Guidance

  • Talk to the person who is already doing the job.
  • Ask him or her to come up with a list of tasks regularly performed as part of the job.
  • You may also want to consult the supervisor or manager. It is also possible (and may expedite the process) to ask the employee to write a brief description of their own job!
  • You can use this as a starting point for your own formal job description.
  • Also, ask them to identify which tasks are most important or performed most frequently.
  • With the gathered information this should now be straightforward, keep the job description brief, and accurate.
  • Some jobs require more detailed descriptions than others, but a job description should ideally never exceed a single page.
  • Keep your job descriptions current.
  • Keep all of the job positions for your company in one location, making it easy to update them quickly.

Next Steps


aviation, Aviation MCC, Competence, Competence Management, Employee Competence, Employee training, Maintenance Control Centre, MCC, SAS blogs, Training Development