The PSA sees with concern that capacity and competence are identified as nonconformities in a large number of our audits – at operators and licensees, in large companies and small.

Conditions related to this aspect have also been contributory factors in a number of serious incidents over the past couple of years. The availability of well-qualified personnel is a particular challenge among suppliers.

This position is worrying. The future of the industry will be characterised in part by ageing infrastructure, automation, the introduction of new modes of operation, and projects related to new forms of energy.

Safety in an increasingly complex sector can only be ensured through a competent labour force and good manning levels.

We would urge company decision-makers to pause and carry out a detailed assessment of the position in their own organisation. Success is fully possible with good management. 

Video: Capacity and competence – the key to safety

What is the PSA's main issue?

The PSA acquires large volumes of information from the companies and the industry, and analyses, debates and evaluates these data in many, long and demanding rounds. That leads ultimately to an audit programme for the year – what must be looked at more closely, what should be got to grips with, and what is less pressing.

Tough priorities underlie the conclusions reached. And priorities, of course, are as much about what is excluded as what gets included. That means difficult choices.

Every year, however, the PSA opts to highlight an issue and a headline which it asks the industry to pay special attention to at an overall level. That main issue is naturally also the outcome of an extensive process.

For once, however, the result is straightforward – and easy to communicate. Presented every autumn, one brief text sums up an issue which the PSA wants the industry’s leaders and decision-makers to address in particular depth and to take the necessary action on. That is because this short message encompasses some important and complex challenges which must be overcome and which are fundamental to maintaining and improving a high level of safety. And that is the main issue.

Six years of main issue

2017 Reversing the trend
2018 Valuing safety choices
2019 Safe, strong, clear
2020 Never another major accident
2021 Side by side with the suppliers
2022 Capacity and competence – the key to safety