Competency vs Certification
Is it one and the same?
Competent

You’d not be alone in assuming that Certification and Competency meant the same thing. In fact, most of the time it might actually do just that. But what of the case where:

• A certificate marks an attendance at a course or an event
• Where a certificate signals the completion of a programme
• To signal the achievement of a specified criteria, such as a pass mark in a certain assessment.

Aren’t they all just demonstrating competency in something?

Let’s take a step further.

What if you attend a course, but you are not required to contribute? Or worse, what if you attend the course, but ended up sitting in the back row catching 40 winks while the presenter spent 3 hours covering a topic you thought you had a firm grip on. What if you snoozed your way through, signed attendance where required, ate the free buffet meal, posed for the group photograph, and left not knowing anything more about your field of study, armed only with a certificate that says you attended?

That certificate is meaningless; and in no ways demonstrates your competency in understanding the subject matter covered during that course.

So, is product certification an accurate reflection on that product’s competency to perform a particular job?

Here’s another example.

The fire extinguisher and its CE marking.

Fire extinguishers are critical pieces of equipment; ones that can save lives. That’s why one would expect these vessels to be certified and competent to perform the function they’re intended for. Until recently, fire extinguishers made use of CE marking; a way for manufacturers to take responsibility for the product they’re supplying to ensure that it meets the requirements of European regulations. However, some products may be marked with a CE mark, but it is marked as a pressure-vessel; and doesn’t actually account for how well it can put out a fire. Certification, yes. Competency, no.  That’s why, certification should never be read as a catch-all for the ability to prove that a product is fit-for-purpose.

However, when it comes to BBA Certification; that’s the sole purpose of our certification offer. BBA certification has been designed to assess and validate a product’s ability to perform a specific function.

And considering that our Client’s products are being used in some pretty critical implementations, the responsibility rests on us to ensure we do our job to ensure product competence through certification.

Want to find out more about how we do that? Get in touch.

To find out more about the BBA’s Agrément Certification Services…

Click here.