One of the key changes in the 2021 rewrite of the LCA service delivery standards was the recognition that there is scope for legionella control work to be impacted by any member of staff: not just the technicians in the field doing the service delivery. We detailed the identified roles of surveyor, designer, planner, technician, reporter, and auditor in each of the service delivery standards. So, what does that mean?
Surveyor – this is the role of the person who gets the information necessary to quote a job or contract. It could be a technical estimator going out into the field to survey for work, but it is far more likely to be a salesperson or office administrator getting the detail from a potential client about what they want doing. This means that if these staff do this work, they need to be competent in doing it. They should be trained and checked as competent just like the staff in the field. If you have a survey or enquiry form, they should be trained in using it.
Designer – the work needs to be ‘designed’ by somebody. Often that is a salesperson or office administrator that takes the information gathered by the ‘surveyor’ and turns it into a quote for a service that can be provided to the customer. Again, if these staff do this work, they need to be competent in doing it. They should be trained and checked as competent just like the staff in the field. If you have a programme design guide and/or a standard quote template or a CRM system, they should be trained in using it.
Planner – the planner is the person who schedules and books in the work with the client and the technician. They need to understand what the work entails and match the competence of the person they sent to the complexity of the work. They might need to understand how to use your records of competence and your booking system. The staff members are sometimes office staff, sometimes supervisors or managers. Whoever they are, they need to be trained and competent to plan and book work.
Technician – most LCA members get this one, it’s what they’ve always looked at for competence. The field delivery side. Its important to maintain this ongoing maintenance of training and competence for these staff.
Reporter – some work is completed by a technician and reported by somebody else. Sometimes legionella sample results are reported by the office rather than the technician that took the samples. It’s important that those handling, possibly interpreting and reporting legionella control work to the client are trained and competent to do so.
Auditor – each of the LCA Service Delivery Standards calls for an element of quality assurance by auditing a proportion of the work output. The person doing this QA needs to be trained and competent in checking this output.
All of the job roles above may be delivered by separate people, multiple roles may be delivered by individuals or all the roles might be delivered by one individual. The key to compliance with the LCA Service Delivery Standards is making sure you have considered each of the roles outlined above and made sure you do the following:
- Identify the knowledge and skills required to do the work
- Check the people doing the work have the knowledge and skills you identified
- Train as necessary to fill any gaps
- Assess competence
Competence assessment by direct observation in the field is the most appropriate method for field technicians but does not always suit itself to office-based roles. Checking output or examples of work can sometimes be sufficient to evidence competence in the role of the surveyor, designer, planner, reporter or auditor.