With the development of a new skills system in Oman, we must have a valid, reliable and fair assessment and certification system that insures someone has the required level of knowledge and skills to perform a specified job role. Skills Assessment and Certification is a vital NOS application that complements the roadmap of NOS in the Sultanate.

Evaluating the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities of potential candidates serve as the foundation of all assessment systems. In general, assessment and certification is about gathering evidence and making judgments about the status of competence or performance deriving either from training or from job experience so that decisions can be made. These decisions have to do with the trainee, learner, or worker: Is the trainee, learner, or worker able to do a certain job or even cope with all requirements of the whole occupation? Is the learner able to embark on a particular course of study? What other training does the worker need in order to be deemed qualified? Other decisions concern the labor demand of foreign workers who should be tested before they enter Oman. The basis for all these decisions must be the National Occupational Standards (NOSs) that in total sum represent a skilled worker.

The ultimate goal of skills assessment and certification is to ensure a competent workforce and improved workplace safety, which results in improved public safety. It can also insure the recruitment of the right calibers in each and every occupation, and decreasing the recruitment costs by selecting only the right people.

Key Benefits of Skills Certification:

  • Brings credibility to employees’ claim of competence
  • Helps employee in career advancement
  • Reduces the recruitment cost for employers
  • Reduces the training cost for employers
  • Eases the employee selection process
  • Supports in employee benchmarking

The SSU aiming to develop Skills Certification Schemes must have systems and human resources in place to ensure they consistently meet, and are able to show that they meet, all the quality criteria for Skills Certification Schemes, defined and published by the OSC.

These Quality Criteria do not merely focus on one defined assessment process. Rather, they take a broader, whole-system approach designed to deliver the more suitable and appropriate assessment process that responds to the needs as well the capacity and resources of sectors and occupations. These criteria are also designed to ensure assessment and certification are used efficiently and effectively.

These criteria must be followed, and the SSU will need to provide evidence of compliance when submitting a Skills Certification Scheme to the OSC for approval. Further, the Scheme will have a finite period of approval, before being reviewed, amended, and re-approved by the OSC, to stay current with employers’ needs.

The SSU must work with its respective sector to identify the need and then develop Skills Certification Schemes. This process must be employer-led, and the SSU must be able to demonstrate excellent working relationships with employers in their sector across a range of company sizes and occupations.