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Task 14: We ensure the competence of personnel whose work affects our energy performance and energy management system. We evaluate the effectiveness of actions taken to acquire competencies. We retain appropriate records of competencies and training.

Detailed Guidance: Competence and Training

  1. Determine necessary competencies for personnel and evaluate their current competencies.
  2. Identify any gaps in the competencies of personnel whose work affects energy performance and the energy management system (EnMS), and conduct training to address competency gaps.
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken.
  4. Retain records of competence and related actions.

Task 14 Guidance Version: v18.14.01.02
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The creative commons license is applicable only to the technical content found in the "Getting it Done", "Task Overview", "Full Description", and "Decarbonization" tabs. The creative commons license does not extend to the 50001 Ready Navigator software or other resources.

Personnel performing work that affects your organization’s energy performance and energy management system (EnMS) must have the competence to perform that work. Ensuring the competence of these personnel helps minimize potential negative impacts on energy management and energy performance. If there are any competency gaps among the relevant personnel, including on-site contractors or suppliers, then those gaps must be identified and actions taken to ensure that they are brought up to the level required to perform the job. The actions taken must be evaluated to ensure that they were effective, and appropriate records of competence must be retained.

This guidance is relevant to Section 7.2 of the ISO 50001:2018 standard.


Task 14 Guidance Version: v18.14.01.02
Creative Commons License
The creative commons license is applicable only to the technical content found in the "Getting it Done", "Task Overview", "Full Description", and "Decarbonization" tabs. The creative commons license does not extend to the 50001 Ready Navigator software or other resources.

Personnel working under your control whose work affects your organization’s energy performance and energy management system (EnMS) must be competent to perform those tasks. These personnel can include salaried, hourly, part-time, and temporary employees, as well as on-site contractors, suppliers, and consultants.

In identifying persons who affect energy performance and the EnMS, at a minimum, attention should be given to the energy team and employees and on-site contractors whose work is associated with the following:

  • Significant energy uses
  • Objectives, energy targets, and action plans
  • Energy performance indicators (EnPIs)
  • Actions to address risks and opportunities
  • Operation of energized equipment and systems
  • Maintenance (sites, equipment, systems, processes)
  • Design and installation of sites, equipment, systems and processes
  • Purchasing
  • Sustaining past energy performance improvements
  • Energy and related data collection and analysis

Competency is the ability to apply knowledge and skills for an individual to effectively perform the responsibilities their work requires. Competencies vary for different job positions and are defined on the basis of appropriate education, training, skills, or experience.

  • Education: Knowledge generally acquired through a formal educational program such as a school, technical institute, or university.
  • Training: Knowledge generally acquired through the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge related to specific useful capabilities. Training typically involves successful completion of a training course or training program or on-the-job training. Examples include boiler operation, electrical system maintenance, or wastewater treatment.
  • Skill: Talent or ability that can be learned or developed and is subsequently demonstrated. Examples include welding, painting, or software development.
  • Experience: The accumulation of knowledge or skill that results from direct participation in events, activities, or tasks.

Most organizations have information on the competencies required for various positions. Often, this information is maintained in the Human Resources, Training, or Environmental and Health and Safety (EHS) Departments. The challenge normally is to identify what documentation already exists and where it is located. For example, competency requirements for relevant personnel may be defined in job descriptions, position statements, on-the-job training checklists, contractor or supplier agreements, and the like.

Some questions to consider include the following:

  • How does your organization currently determine what individual employees and contractors need to know or need to have in order to perform their specific jobs?
  • Who decides competency requirements? Who is involved in this process?
  • Is there documented information on this? If so, where is it located? Who controls that information?
  • Do these competency requirements include what energy-related information employees need to know?

If your organization does not have this information for each position that affects energy performance and the EnMS, or the existing processes is highly informal, the optional Playbook worksheet can be useful for defining competency requirements. It can be completed for each individual working in a specific position. These resources can also be used simply to generate ideas on the types of information your organization may want to include in, for example, an online database for maintaining information on competency requirements for the positions that affect energy performance and the EnMS.

Ensuring competence involves determining whether there are any competency gaps among the relevant personnel. If so, then actions need to be taken to address those gaps. For employees, actions could include formal education, training, mentoring, coaching, self-study, professional development activities, and reassignment. For on-site contractors and suppliers, actions could include additional or modified contract provisions or terms of service, contractor/supplier orientation, or other training. In many circumstances, ensuring the competency of on-site contractors and suppliers is a contractual requirement.

Training is a common method of addressing competency gaps, including those related to energy and energy management. Consider whether there are any new or modified competencies needed for specific groups or categories of employees and contractors, such as those performing work related to significant energy uses (SEUs). They need to be aware of and be able to follow correctly any of the following as they relate to their work responsibilities:

Other groups of employees and contractors for which additional competencies related to the EnMS may be needed can include internal auditors and personnel with responsibilities related to data collection, analysis, and evaluation.

The optional Playbook worksheet can help you identify and plan EnMS-related training such as ISO 50001 training for the energy team (Task 6 Energy Team and Resources), general energy awareness training for all personnel (including new employees and on-site contractors) (Task 15 Awareness and Communication), and internal auditor and lead auditor training (Task 22 Internal Audit).

Many larger organizations already have processes in place to evaluate personnel against the competency requirements for their position and to address any needs. Typically, the needs are used to develop a plan to bring the employee up to the desired level of competency. Such processes may be managed by Human Resources and/or EHS functions that need to ensure an annual refresher or other training related to EHS regulatory requirements. Establishing similar processes for the EnMS should leverage any existing training processes and resources.

The optional Playbook worksheet can be used to record the evaluation of an individual’s education, training, skills, or experience relative to the competency requirements, and to identify gaps.

The optional Playbook worksheet can be used to record the training plan, as well as the completion status. Once developed, the training plan usually is reviewed by the employee, supervisor, and/or training coordinator for relevance to the identified training need(s). An example training plan appears in the optional Playbook worksheet.

For organizations considering technical training on energy systems, training programs focusing on best system practices and software tools are available in most countries - consult with your regional program authority or utility for assistance.

When actions are taken to fill any competency gaps of relevant personnel, it must be determined whether those actions achieved the intended results. How the actions taken are evaluated for effectiveness will vary, depending on the specific actions taken. For example, if the action taken was additional or remedial on-the-job training, effectiveness might be evaluated using supervisor observation and sign-off. For actions such as formal education or training courses, the achievement of a diploma or certificate could demonstrate effectiveness. Other approaches to effectiveness evaluation could be tests and quizzes or, particularly for gaps related to energy management, the use of the EnMS internal audit system. Regardless of the approach used, your organization will want to have confidence that those personnel have attained the desired level of competence.

Retaining records of competency demonstrates that personnel whose work affects energy performance and the EnMS have met your own organization’s job requirements. Records of competency could be a variety of different types of documented information, such as resumes, transcripts, diplomas, certificates, completed on-the-job training or other types of completed competency checklists, completed attendance or sign-in sheets, the results of the second party audits of contractors and suppliers, and the like. Be sure this information is controlled under the requirements of Task 16 Documenting the EnMS.

Review any gaps in personnel competency identified previously and confirm that steps taken to alleviate these gaps have been successful.

Identify new gaps that may exist, either through -

  • any personnel joining the organization since the original competence and training review who can impact your energy performance or the EnMS.
  • Any new contractors operating or maintaining systems or equipment
  • the installation of any new equipment or systems that require specific skills or training. 

Confirm that steps are being taken to fill any of these new gaps in competence.

Make sure that competence and training activities continue to be documented.

A key consideration is cause and effect.  If a person can cause an impact to your energy performance or the operation of the EnMS, then you must ensure their competence and it there is a gap, actions must be taken.  This is an ongoing process as personnel move and the EnMS evolves.                              

If someone is operating an SEU, then they should have required competence and be trained in detail on how their work can impact the EnMS, energy performance, and, if relevant to your goals, GHG emissions.

Internal auditors should review training records for these key personnel, as well as conducting interviews.


Task 14 Guidance Version: v18.14.01.02
Creative Commons License
The creative commons license is applicable only to the technical content found in the "Getting it Done", "Task Overview", "Full Description", and "Decarbonization" tabs. The creative commons license does not extend to the 50001 Ready Navigator software or other resources.
Not required for 50001 Ready recognition

Personnel performing work that affects your organization’s energy performance and energy management system (EnMS) must have the competence to perform that work. When adding energy-related GHG emissions to the EnMS, you must ensure that personnel have the competence to perform the additional work required, if any.

Attention should be given to employees and on-site contractors whose work is associated with the following:

  • Significant energy uses
  • Objectives, targets, and action plans
  • Energy performance indicators (EnPIs)
  • Actions to address risks and opportunities
  • Operation of energized equipment and systems
  • Maintenance (sites, equipment, systems, processes)
  • Design and installation of sites, equipment, systems and processes
  • Purchasing and other procurement functions
  • Sustaining past energy and energy-related GHG emissions performance improvements
  • Energy, energy-related GHG emissions, and related data collection and analysis

If you do not have an existing 50001 Ready-based EnMS and want to build one that also helps your organization manage GHG emissions, you should follow the guidance in the “Full Description” tab keeping the following in mind:

  1. Identify personnel who affect energy performance and the EnMS.  Determine if there are employees or contractors whose competencies are affected because of the focus on energy-related GHG emissions.  Make sure you consider employees and contractors whose work is associated with the items listed above and that you consider any competencies that are specific to energy-related GHG emissions.
  2. Update the competency requirements of employees.  As needed, engage with other organizations (e.g. human resources or training departments) to determine the competency requirements based on energy-related GHG emissions-related competencies, and to evaluate the current competencies for these personnel.
  3. Where there are competency gaps, take appropriate action.  Take the appropriate action to ensure any energy-related GHG emissions-related competency gaps among employees or contractors are addressed.  This can include formal education, training, mentoring, coaching, self-study, professional development, and reassignment.
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken.  Make sure that any actions taken to fill energy-related GHG emissions-related competency gaps achieve the intended results and that the personnel have attained the desired level of competence.
  5. Retain appropriate records of competency.  Retain records of competency to demonstrate personnel meet the organization’s job requirements.

If you have an existing 50001 Ready-based EnMS and want to adapt it to manage energy-related GHG emissions, you should:

  1. Review the list of personnel who affect energy performance and the EnMS.  Gather and review any documentation you kept on the competency requirements you determined for your EnMS. Determine if there are employees or contractors whose competencies will change because of the added focus on energy-related GHG emissions.  Make sure you consider employees and contractors whose work is associated with the items listed above and that you consider any competencies that are specific to energy-related GHG emissions.
  2. Update the competency requirements of employees.  As needed, engage with other organizations (e.g. human resources or training departments) to update the documented competency requirements based on the additional energy-related GHG emissions-related competencies, and to evaluate the current competencies for these personnel.
  3. Where there are competency gaps, take appropriate action.  Take the appropriate action to ensure any energy-related GHG emissions-related competency gaps among employees or contractors are addressed.  This can include formal education, training, mentoring, coaching, self-study, professional development, and reassignment.
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken.  Make sure that any actions taken to fill GHG emissions-related competency gaps achieve the intended results and that the personnel have attained the desired level of competence.
  5. Retain appropriate records of competency.  Retain records of competency to demonstrate personnel meet the organization’s job requirements.

Task 14 Decarbonization Guidance Version: v0.9
Creative Commons License
The creative commons license is applicable only to the technical content found in the "Getting it Done", "Task Overview", "Full Description", and "Decarbonization" tabs. The creative commons license does not extend to the 50001 Ready Navigator software or other resources.

42 U.S. Code § 8262c(a) requires that facility energy managers are trained energy managers. You may use these requirements to guide the assessment of current job competence and to establish the training protocol required for this task.

50001 Ready includes requirements to train SEU-related staff on the 50001 Ready energy management system. Users should use this Navigator task to incorporate federally mandated criteria for energy management training into the training protocol, both for facility energy managers and associated personnel who are tasked with improving the performance of SEUs.

Personnel performing work that affects your organization’s water performance and the water management system must have the competence to perform that work. When adding water to the EnMS, you must ensure that personnel have the competence to perform the additional work required, if any.

Attention should be given to employees and on-site contractors whose work is associated with the following:

  • Significant water uses
  • Objectives, targets, and action plans
  • Water performance indicators
  • Actions to address risks and opportunities
  • Operation of water consuming equipment and systems
  • Maintenance (sites, equipment, systems, processes)
  • Design and installation of sites, equipment, systems, and processes
  • Purchasing and other procurement functions
  • Sustaining past water performance improvements
  • Water, wastewater, and related data collection and analysis

Education, workforce development, and competence training are essential to a successful water management implementation. That is why it is important to include education and outreach efforts for the building occupants to help reduce water use in the implementation plan. Two references that can help you ensure competence of your personnel are FEMP’s Best Management Practice #2 (Information and Education Programs) and EPA’s WaterSense at Work Monitoring and Education guidance. A summary of the guidance provided by FEMP and EPA are provided in the next few paragraphs.

Educating users about water conservation is essential to sustain the savings of water-efficient technologies and practices. It is not enough to install water-saving technology in a facility. New operation procedures, retrofits, and replacements are most effective when employees, contractors, and the public know what the new technologies or methods are and how to use them properly.

Actively monitoring water use and effectively educating facility staff, building occupants, employees, and visitors about water use and water management planning goals are key components of properly managing and reducing facility water use. Monitoring and education set the stage for a successful water management program.

Tools and Resources:

The keys to this task include:

  1. Determining required competencies for roles that can impact the EnMS and energy performance
  2. Evaluating actual competencies against required competencies and document gaps
  3. Taking actions to close the gaps and document these actions
  4. Evaluating the effectiveness of these actions

Competency can be established with education, experience, skills, training, or certification.  Having personnel with a deep understanding of your energy management information system (EMIS – aka building management system) and energy use tracking systems is vital.  The energy team may benefit from having some team members receive training in energy efficiency and energy management concepts, or certification courses such as LEED Green Associate training or one of the many certification courses offered through the Association of Energy Engineers.  The energy team should also have personnel with competency in existing and emerging local energy regulations and any reporting requirements.

When considering who will need competencies and training, think broadly across the departments.  For example, housekeeping supervisors may need to understand the lighting and HVAC operations and controls, and be able to develop housekeeping operating procedures that support and do not conflict with those controls.

50001 Ready includes requirements to train staff on the 50001 Ready energy management system.

ISO 50001:2018, ISO 14001:2015, and ISO 9001:2015 have common requirements to ensure the competence of personnel on the basis of appropriate education, training, or experience. An ISO 14001:2015 environmental management system focuses on the competency of personnel that affect the organization’s environmental performance and environmental compliance obligations. An ISO 9001:2015 system focuses on personnel that affect the performance and effectiveness of the quality management system. The focus of an ISO 50001:2018 EnMS is on personnel whose work affects the organization’s energy performance and EnMS. However, the processes used by the organization to ensure the competency of personnel can be the same for all three management systems, although the personnel and competencies involved in each may be different. In implementing ISO 50001, it is recommended that the processes used to address the competency requirements of ISO 14001 and/or ISO 9001 be applied to the EnMS. Also, the types of competency records maintained for the quality and/or environmental management system(s) would be similar to those needed for the EnMS.

The types of actions that can be taken to address competency gaps, such as training, education, mentoring and the like, can be applied across all three management systems.

Step 5.3 of the ENERGY STAR® Guidelines for Energy Management discusses building capacity through training of staff. This 50001 Ready Navigator task guidance, focuses on competence of personnel who affect the energy performance and EnMS of the organization. The common types of training programs identified in the ENERGY STAR guidelines could be used to address competency gaps for specific personnel.


Task 14 Guidance Version: v18.14.01.02
Creative Commons License
The creative commons license is applicable only to the technical content found in the "Getting it Done", "Task Overview", "Full Description", and "Decarbonization" tabs. The creative commons license does not extend to the 50001 Ready Navigator software or other resources.

Use this Notes section to save information for communication with other members of your project team, they will be able to see these Notes whey they are logged in to the 50001 Ready Navigator. Notes examples include dates of meeting with relevant personnel for completion of a portion of the task, decisions that have been made about task implementation, or perhaps a link to a file in your organization's shared drive that contains a completed worksheet or template. Please note, do not enter any information in here that you would not want shared with any members of the project team or the site's administrative staff.

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Name Type Description Version
50001 Ready Playbook Task 14 Competence and Training PB.14.01.01
EXAMPLE--Playbook Task 14 Competence and Training Federal Agency Playbook Example File
Wastewater Example Playbook Task 14 - Filled Out Wastewater Treatment Playbook Example File