Huw Bement, CompEx Director

Since joining CompEx in January 2020 as Executive Director, I have begun to look at how we guide the scheme through the next phase of its journey. We have an incredible legacy spanning the last 25 years, and I am keen that we make sure we meet the needs of all our stakeholders for many years to come. As a newcomer to the training and certification industry, I want to use my background in sales and marketing to leverage our technical expertise to increase our reach and support improvements to standards and safety.

The Covid19 pandemic has meant that my tenure has begun under exceptional circumstances. During this time, my attention has predominantly been focused on implementing appropriate measures to support centres, candidates, and employers. Health and well-being are critical and for the last month the whole CompEx team has been working from home. We remain open throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, so please let us know how we can help.

At time of writing all our training partners are closed. I know many of you are reviewing the situation regularly. A key decision we have made to assist our stakeholders has been to establish a certificate extension process. This means that CompEx practitioners can apply for an extension of three months if their certification is due to expire. Further details about extension application can be found on our website.

Our advice to employers and individuals is that they should contact their preferred training centre to rebook courses as soon as is possible. We are keeping the situation under review, particularly as the UK lockdown is set to continue for some time, and we will extend the 30th June 2020 date if necessary.

I know that the situation remains incredibly fluid. Despite the extension of the UK lockdown, press coverage has shifted towards how the economy can return to normal. I also understand that government responses vary considerably across the world, but I hope we may see some light at the end of the tunnel soon.

I was able to meet several of our centre partners in the short window pre-COVID, and I have been struck by their real sense of passion, high level of technical expertise and desire to see the scheme improve and develop. I have also spoken to some employers and whilst we have a solid brand behind us, we must develop a clear strategy that will fulfil our purpose to support and promote workplace safety by certifying personal competency, in all industries with potentially explosive atmospheres. I look forward to sharing our ideas and hearing your thoughts in the not-too-distant future.

Finally, there are clearly some areas that we need to improve, the balance of assessment for the Ex01R-04R Refresher being one example that is still under review. There is more information about this in the newsletter, and I think it is essential that we create a dialogue with our stakeholders, explain our thinking and are transparent in our actions.