What Is a Competent Person According to OSHA? (Plus How To Become One)

By way of training and/or experience, a competent person is knowledgeable of applicable standards, is capable of identifying workplace hazards relating to the specific operation, and has the authority to correct them.

Construction companies frequently appoint a Competent Person (CP) on their job sites in order to maintain OSHA compliance and a safe workplace. Per OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1926. A CP is able to recognize existing and predictable workplace issues that make the workplace risky, unclean, or dangerous for employees under Section 32(f). The CP can also eliminate these risks to make the environment safer. The Employer Competent Person Requirements for Construction Course from ClickSafety clarifies the procedure from beginning to end when your company needs to identify employees for CP status.

You will comprehend what is necessary to name a Competent Person within your construction company to create a safer working environment and ensure compliance with all state and federal regulations after completing the Employer Competent Person Requirements for Construction Course. Students also learn where to look for more information and how to properly implement the CP process to identify and evaluate candidates.

Competent Person | Competence | KATE (Knowledge, Ability, Training, Experience)

How to become a competent person

Although OSHA defines a competent person, there are no formal requirements to obtain the title. To become a competent person who complies with OSHA’s designation, think about taking the following actions:

1. Gain experience

A competent worker on a job site ought to have the necessary experience to comprehend the particulars of the project and the tasks necessary. This could imply that they have years of experience working in a variety of capacities within the construction industry. It may also imply that a competent individual has less experience in the field but has received highly specialized training for a given position.

2. Complete training

In addition to experience, you can take training programs to advance your understanding of and proficiency in particular construction-related fields. The following are typical course topics that professionals take while pursuing competence:

These topics cover information on specific risks that a competent person must comprehend and be able to address as needed. As part of your training, you might also want to enroll in classes for basic first aid and CPR.

Make sure the training course you choose is directly relevant to your line of work. For instance, a foreman in charge of a project that involves a lot of electrical work might enroll in a course on electrical safety. Permit your supervisor to review the courses you’re thinking about to make sure they cover the right material and offer the range of instruction needed to become a competent person.

3. Earn the title

When your training is finished, talk to your superintendent or supervisor about becoming an expert on the job. You can submit a resume or a CV that details your training, experience, and accomplishments. If you did well on your training exams, you could also present your training exam results and certificates from your courses. During your conversation, mention how interested you are in the job and exhibit the following traits:

4. Complete a trial period

Many managers might demand that a newly hired competent person go through a trial period. The employer should monitor the worker on-site to ensure they are adhering to all safety procedures and dealing with any safety issues as soon as they arise.

According to OSHA, a competent person must have the power to implement corrective measures. Regardless of your education and training, you need your employer’s permission to perform this duty. During the trial period, you can exhibit your knowledge, technical expertise, leadership, communication skills, and commitment to the job. Show your boss that the rest of the crew respects and follows your authority

5. Inform others

You must inform the building crew as soon as your manager formally designates you as the project’s competent person. They must understand who to contact if they have any safety concerns and that you have the power to stop work or put in place extra precautions.

What is a competent person?

A competent individual must be able to recognize potential safety issues and possess the necessary knowledge of current safety regulations. Additionally, they must be equipped with the knowledge and power necessary to fix the issues.

Competent person vs. qualified person

OSHA makes the following distinctions between competent and qualified individuals:


OSHA defines a qualified person as someone who has extensive knowledge, experience, or training, or who holds a credential, a degree that is acknowledged, or the professional standing required to address problems pertaining to a particular project, subject, or working environment. This is different from the definition of a competent person given above because a qualified person may design a system to enhance a procedure or prevent a potential problem, whereas a competent person may find a problem already present and take action to fix it right away.

Scope of responsibilities

Designing, installing, and maintaining components and systems they are familiar with is the responsibility of a qualified individual. It is a practical title that necessitates system comprehension from the qualified candidate.

It’s possible that a competent person can’t build or install systems to the same degree or in the same way as a qualified person. They must identify systemic issues that could present safety risks as part of their work. For instance, a skilled individual could build scaffolding for a project. The competent person may not actually assemble the scaffolding, but they are able to tell if the qualified person did not attach the scaffolding to a building properly.


According to OSHA regulations, certain tasks on a job site call for the presence of a qualified person. However, these positions lack the power to halt operations or make changes to the project. A competent person is by definition allowed by their employer to halt work if a significant safety risk is present until the crew takes care of the issue.


What are the responsibilities of a competent person?

A competent person is someone who possesses the expertise to identify a hazard and the power to address it. Think about the following scenario: You might be the world’s most knowledgeable excavator.

Is a competent person always a qualified person?

Make sure the designated competent person has the power to eliminate risks and halt work if necessary to protect workers. can instruct other staff members and respond to frequently asked safety questions is retrained occasionally to help maintain the best and most up-to-date safety knowledge

How can I be a good competent person?

Competent individuals must be able to both identify and mitigate risks. A single competent person or multiple competent individuals may work at the same location. Competent people do not necessarily need to have a degree, certificate, or a lot of experience.

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