Personal responsibility and competence

“We understand and accept what should be done and know what is expected of us”

People should be clear in their HSE expectations – knowing exactly what they expect of others and what others expect of themselves – and should have the required competencies to fulfill their responsibilities.  

This involves ensuring:

  • Workers understand and can manage risk.
  • Supervisors are competent in people skills, not just technical skills.


There should be clear agreement on what responsibilities people of different roles will have, how they will deliver HSE commitments and whether they have the skills and competence to do so.

To support this and remove ambiguous messages, these expectations should be part of a clear line of accountability - but people should only accept responsibility for what they can deliver.  The foundation for this should be part of the existing HSE management system.

Specific tools and techniques for improving competence and encouraging personal responsibility are integrated into the Hearts and Minds tools, however other ways to achieve this include 1-to-1 discussions with the workforce.

Further information

The following Hearts and Minds tools can help t increase the competency and personal responsibility of the workforce in specific ways: