A Competent Authority View on Skills for Competence & Compliance - Hosted by Cogent Skills

Guest Panellist

Dr. Mike NicholasCOMAH Senior Advisor, Environment Agency

Time & Location

Thursday: 13.00 to 14.00, Stage 3

Panel Session Overview

How will changes to materials and process technology, increased digitalisation, and the drive towards energy efficiency and improved environmental performance impact on the regulatory landscape.

In this session we will share the findings from our UK Chemical Industry Skills Survey and hear from the Competent Authority their views on the short to medium term direction of travel and how the regulatory landscape may evolve in the longer term.


Featured  Panellists include:


  • Neil Smith – Head of Workforce Development, Cogent Skills (Host)
  • Sarabjit Purewal OBE – Cyber Security and Emerging Technology Lead – Health and Safety Executive
  • Dr Mike Nicolas – Senior Advisor : COMAH at Environment Agency
  • Max Walker –  Head of Onshore Chemicals Strategy & Divisional Support | Chemicals, Explosives & Microbiological Hazards Division – Health and Safety Executive

Speaker Bio

Mike is a Chemical Engineer and is currently a Senior Advisor at the Environment Agency.  He provides technical support and training to Competent Authority inspectors and contributes to the development of Competent Authority regulatory policy and procedures associated with COMAH.

Mike has been involved in several COMAH incident investigations is an active member of many industry / regulator working groups – working to promote good practice for pollution prevention within process safety guidance.  He is currently co-chair of the CDOIF working group examining extreme weather impacts and the implications of climate change for process safety.