Contractor Competency

What is ConCom?

Concom (the Humber Contractor Competency Forum) is an auditing and networking scheme led by a committee of clients. It is a collaborative and supportive tool promoting continual improvement. Concom supports contractors in improving their systems and competency by promoting and sharing best practice and providing training targeted at areas found to be needing improvement during audits.

It was established in 1999 by the Humber Engineering Managers Forum – a group of collaborating clients and supporting contractors – to agree and develop common high standards of competency for companies and their employees working on the mainly top-tier Comah Humber Bank process industries.

What are the Key Features of the Scheme?


The Concom Auditor carries out an audit with a Client Auditor (usually 2-yearly) at the contractor’s offices.
The company either are or will be working on clients’ sites and are audited using a template agreed by the clients: –
Safety Equipment Competency Health Mental Health Quality
Environment Cyber Security Safety Statistics Subcontractors Agreed Actions

The audit report, including all guidance and data, is then shared with the contractor and all client members via the Concom Portal. In this way, the contractor is only audited once, regardless of how many of our clients they work for.


Monthly Client Concom Forums are held at Catch where the previous periods’ audit results are presented and discussed. They are an excellent networking opportunity to review audit findings, action points and any other competency issues. Importantly, it provides a cross-discipline forum for managers and leaders in Engineering, Safety, Competency, Training and Purchasing to share and discuss competency issues, incidents & their learnings, etc, and gives a chance to share best practice.


With the exception of Preval (more later…) all contractor members of Concom have originally been nominated to join by a client member, i.e., contractor members cannot self-nominate.

A Prequal is a service (at a cost per Prequal) we offer to our client members and is an initial ‘deep dive’ audit of a contractor that is new to the nominating client. It is free to that contractor. Prequal ensures the contractor meets the client’s own safety, purchasing, competency standards, etc, before they ‘approve’ them for on-site work.

Should it be necessary, guidance is given to the contractor by Concom to help them to develop and/or have clarity on clients’ expectations.

Once the contractor has passed their Prequal, there is an expectation that the contractor then joins Concom to develop & demonstrate their ongoing competency.


This is a similar system to that for Prequal. It is for contractors who have not got a nomination from a client into Prequal (but the cost goes to the contractor this time). It gives companies interested in working for our clients a first chance to be pre-validated to the same Prequal standard. It is a significant step that demonstrates to them that the contractor is committed to competency and already meets expectations. Once completed, the company details are uploaded to the Concom portal used by the clients and fed back to them at the monthly Forums. This gives the contractors an increased potential for new business. Should the new company not be successful in meeting the standard the first time, an action plan is provided to support their business.
A number of companies have successfully completed Preval and are now working for our client members following nomination by them into the scheme.

Benefits for a Client Joining Concom:

  • The clients have a common, agreed audit undertaken by professional Concom Auditors on a two-yearly basis
  • Shared contractor auditing resource of professional auditors with wide-spread, senior-level experience in top-tier Comah industries
  • Concom is unique in that it is client-led. The clients dictate what the audit should cover for their on-site contractors
  • Contractors in the scheme cannot self-nominate – they must be nominated by a client.
  • A proven audit scheme that supports clients in managing their competency systems
  • Concom is recognised by the HSE and is a key pillar in supporting clients in demonstrating their competency systems to them
  • An existing database of around 200 Concom approved contractors with a similar number archived
  • A single, common, consistent, high-quality standard of competency audit across all process industries
  • A shared portal which allows clients to search on skillsets as well as companies and gives access to audit report histories
  • Monthly network forums to share audit reviews, best practice, common challenges, etc
  • Concom membership gives 10% discounts on most CATCH Skills training courses at the CATCH facility and room hire

Benefits for a Contractor Joining Concom:

  • It provides contractors with a single standard and consistent system to demonstrate their organisations’ competence to multiple clients & industries
  • Concom is a collaborative and supportive tool promoting continual improvement. We support contractors in improving their systems and competency by promoting and sharing best practice and providing training targeted at areas found requiring improvement during the audits
  • A two-way sharing of communications regarding safety and competency issues
  • An opportunity at audit and at any joint client / contractor forums to demonstrate any new ideas, investments, etc
  • A joint approach to discussing any common challenges with clients
  • The Concom Portal is to be launched soon for contractor members which will enable them to list their contact details and then link to their own websites directly
  • Concom membership gives 10% discounts on most CATCH Skills training courses at the CATCH facility and room hire

View our list of client members here.

Join us?

For a chat regarding the scheme, or for any more information on our membership, please contact us at or telephone 01469 552830.


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