Competencies by Role

The following describes the typical basic competencies expected from different roles in the organisation, in order to facilitate the success of the development and execution of the HP Program.


Senior and executive leaders who develop or support the HP/HF strategy and the implementation thereof through integration with the existing management systems.  This includes company-wide planning, resourcing, or aligning between functions.  Following are the key HP/HF competencies for this role:

  • Understanding HF/HP expert competencies, qualifications, and professional bodies
  • How to create and resource HP program
  • Understand (safety) critical task management
  • How to integrate HP into existing corporate processes
  • Understand the application of Systems Thinking/Safety II
  • Recognizing that safety, incidents, and other undesired outcomes result from organizational weaknesses rather than individual behaviours.
  • Understanding the range of topic areas with which HP integrates


Operational leaders – senior and middle level managers on an operational  site - charged with overseeing the safe execution of the work across the site or facility (e.g. refinery managers, OIM, and their leadership teams).  Their span of influence would include local resourcing, implementing, and assuring of corporate initiatives.  In addition to the HP knowledge necessary for all individuals, the following would apply:

  • Understand how to integrate HP into site-level existing processes
  • Ability to identify factors on site, or site-level process, that would lead to mistakes, non-compliance, or undesired behaviours.
  • Understand how to address and resource the necessary improvements to the site required to reduce likelihood of mistakes via the hierarchy of controls, particularly following incidents.
  • CRM/non-technical skills, particularly applicable to operational leaders and operational teams managing activities with high potential severity.
  • Recognizing that safety and other undesired outcomes result from system weaknesses rather than individual behaviour.
  • Forward-looking accountability


Supervisors of operational activities and those responsible for the oversight of teams of front-line workers. These roles could include Well Site Leaders, Team Leads, or Supervisors at an assembly line or shop floor.  The responsibilities would be focused on the safe and efficient planning, execution, and review of work.  In addition to the HP knowledge necessary for all individuals, the following competency and skills would apply: 

  • How to respond to bad news, build psychological safety and trust
  • Understand work-as-planned and work-as-done and able to point out the gap before the job commences
  • Ability to apply walk through/talk through technique to proactively identify potential errors and the Performance Shaping Factors (PSFs) which increase likelihood of error / non-compliance.
  • Ability to identify critical tasks and steps in the planning and execution of work and ensure controls that are in place are adequate.
  • Following incidents, ability to utilize the tools for HP in investigations across the investigation process from interviewing to recommendations.
  • Understand how to develop HP competency for team members to include basic awareness in HP concepts.


A broad range of engineering and design roles responsible for designing equipment, plant, tools, and workstations. That may include Project engineers responsible for designing a new offshore platform, a product design lead responsible for the design of a new gas turbine and associated human –machine interface, or a designer responsible for design of new version of power drill. Their competency should include the following:

  • Familiarity with industry standards on HF in design:
    • HF Engineering design criteria for marine systems, facilities and equipment (e.g. offshore platforms or ships) (ASTM F1166)
    • HF integration with the engineering design process projects (IOGP 454)
    • Human-Machine Interface standards (ANSI/ISA-101.01-2015),
    • Human-centred design (ISO 9241 - 210) and
    • Industrial ergonomics (ISO 9241 - 11064) design concepts.
    • Corporate HF standards, as applicable.
  • Familiarity with the range of HF for design tools (HF studies) applicable to projects of any size, for example:
    • Valve/Instrumentation Criticality Analysis
    • HF Model Reviews
    • HF in Construction Audits
  • Understand benefits, cost-savings in order to advocate for HF integration into design processes (Engineering Leads)
  • Understand the benefits, cost-savings in order to advocate for HF integration into design processes (Engineering Leads)
  • Understand the impact of the implementation of automation, AI, and other advanced technologies on Human Performance and likelihood of mistakes.
  • Understand basic concepts of user experience (UX) and usability testing (ISO 9241).


HSE / Quality professionals are responsible for supporting safe operations at the job site as well as reducing defects.  They are expected to have a broad knowledge and skills in a range of HP topics applicable to both the corporate and site-level HSEQ perspectives:

  • Competency to Level 1 on the HP Learning Pathway (9 HP topics)
  • Influence accountability outcomes of incidents in management reviews based on “Forward-looking accountability”
  • Promote development of HP competencies across operational teams.
  • Specific HP considerations at the site level:
    • Promote HP considerations (error traps) in risk assessments, toolbox talks, etc.
    • Promote proactive learning from normal work.


As the focus of any Human Performance program, Front Line Operators are the individuals responsible for most of the critical tasks that deserve most attention.  The HP Program, ultimately is responsible for creating systems, workplaces, and an environment that sets up these individuals for safe and efficient operations.  Despite this view from around the front-line, those individuals themselves would be expected to have skills and knowledge of the following: 

  • Human Performance principles
  • Performance Shaping Factors
  • Safety Critical Communication Protocols
  • Symptoms of stress and fatigue
  • Effects and symptoms of workload limits (both under - and overloading)
  • The ability to explain the context of events to aid in investigations
  • Factors that create an environment of openness and the ability to speak up
  • Basic Human Factors Design principles


Supply chain specialists cover a broad range of roles responsible for managing relationships between customers and suppliers. That includes individuals responsible for creating requirements for products/services, receiving/managing bids and sourcing, or providing oversight of HP considerations as part of the delivery of products and services.  Supply chain professionals need to possess:

  • Awareness of HP requirements and selection criteria for products and services. That includes a range of HP areas such as:
    • HP competency of contractors and suppliers,
    • HP considerations within an investigation process
    • HF design requirements for facilities and equipment.
    • Expected leadership qualities aligned with HP
    • Managing critical tasks and many others.
  • Ability to draft contractual language to include references to the HP Programme as per the HPOG Recommended Practice. 
  • Ability to verify that the contractual obligations with regard to HP requirements have been met.

HF / HP EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS (Internal or External)

“Qualified” Human Performance/Human Factors experts are expected to possess both breadth and depth of knowledge in many subject matter areas.  Despite that expectation it is unlikely that any given HP professional will have deep knowledge and years of experience in all HP topics, but rather will demonstrate sub-specialisms. For example, an expert specialising in design of offshore facilities, may not have equally deep knowledge and experience in fatigue management or leadership development. In particular:

  • University degree certified by a professional Human Factors industry body (link)
  • Practical experience in the topics of expertise and generating high quality outputs, e.g.
    • Person claiming expertise in HF in design, can demonstrate a range of quality outputs from supporting design projects
  • Non-technical skills related to leading projects, coaching stakeholders, active listening, leading teams, mentoring personnel, issue management and resolution
  • Demonstrate evidence of ongoing professional development
  • International Ergonomics Association (IEA) endorsed certification systems for human factors professionals, e.g.:
    • Certified Professional by the Board for Certification of Professional Ergonomists (USA) or
    • Chartered Membership of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (UK)
    • or their equivalents by Human Factors / Psychology certifying bodies (link)


These individuals are involved in the following:  

  • Determine skills of leaders and competency frameworks / content
  • Implementing / delivering training and coaching programs and sessions
  • Managing and assuring demonstration of the required skills
  • Defining career pathways for roles, e.g. operational leaders or engineers
  • Development of job roles and responsibilities
  • Recruitment, promotion, and performance appraisals.
  • Determining behavioural expectations and values

These professionals should possess an understanding of HP topics and specifically the skillsets required for those roles as outlined in this section above as well as work closely with the HF experts.