‘Competence’ is a very loaded word in the safety field. It is loaded because it carries significance and imparts a sense of importance that denotes skill and understanding. Competence speaks to a cluster of related abilities, commitments, knowledge, and skills that enable a person to act effectively (and correctly) for a given job, task or situation. When it is claimed that someone is ‘competent,’ it means that they have demonstrable ability to apply specific knowledge and skills. To be competent is to be in a state or have the quality of being adequately or well qualified for something that is specific and (usually) measurable in some way; hence its importance in safety.