Diagnose and determine the causes of faults in mechanical plant and equipment

Business Sectors (Suites): Process Engineering Maintenance
Developed by: Cogent
Approved on: 27 Mar 2018


This standard is about your competence in diagnosing and finding faults within mechanical plant and equipment. You will be required to select the most appropriate fault finding technique and tools to locate the fault and on completion notify the appropriate people. To record the results you will follow company procedures and your organisations safe working practices at all times, and working within the work permit procedures.

This standard deals with the following:
1 Diagnose and determine the causes of faults in mechanical plant and equipment

During this work you must take account of the relevant installation procedures and safe working practices AS THEY APPLY TO YOU.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

P1 work safely at all times, complying with health and safety and other relevant regulations and guidelines
P2 review and use all relevant information on the symptoms and problems associated with the products or assets
P3 investigate and establish the most likely causes of the faults
P4 select, use and apply diagnostic techniques, tools and aids to locate faults
P5 complete the fault diagnosis within the agreed time and inform the appropriate people when this cannot be achieved
P6 determine the implications of the fault for other work and for safety considerations
P7 use the evidence gained to draw valid conclusions about the nature and probable cause of the fault
P8 record details on the extent and location of the faults in an appropriate format

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

K1 you must have a working knowledge and understanding of what your responsibilities are in respect of Health, Safety and Environment. This should include the limits of your personal responsibility, your legal responsibility for your own health and safety and the health and safety of others
K2 you must have a working knowledge of the relevant regulations and the safe working practices and procedures required within your work area
K3 you must have a working knowledge and understanding of fault diagnostic aids. This could be expected to include mechanical test equipment, historical data and schematic drawing
K4 you must have a working knowledge and understanding of fault finding methods and techniques this should include how to investigate problems, how to identify the extent and location of problems and what to do when causes are difficult to find, and which actions can be taken to deal with the fault
K5 you must have a working knowledge and understanding of analysis method and techniques. This could be expected to include historical data, comparison, and circuit measurements
K6 you must have a working knowledge and understanding of company procedures and manufacturers guidelines for the operating and care of test equipment and control procedures

K7 you must have a working knowledge and understanding of assessing the likely risks arising from faults such as fire, electric shock and damage to plant
K8 you must have a working knowledge and understanding of maintenance reporting documentation and control procedures and how descriptions should be presented, why it is important to record results of the diagnosis, and why it is important to relay conclusions on to others in a time span appropriate to the nature of the problem
K9 you must have a working knowledge and understanding of your responsibilities with regard to the reporting lines and procedures in your working environment


Scope Performance

1 The level and extent of responsibility extends to determination and follow up of the information needed to support a clear and accurate definition of the problem and the selection and analysis of diagnostic procedures appropriate to the problem as identified. In some cases, you may still be expected to refer to others for final authorisations, even though you remain responsible for identifying and implementing decisions.

2 The type of plant and equipment may be single or multiple technology. Typical plant and equipment could be:
2.1 Rotating equipment and tools
2.2 Protection methods
2.3 Fluid distribution systems.

3 The type of fault finding techniques or procedures, diagnostic aids and equipment could include:
3.1 Function testing
3.2 Comparison diagnosis
3.3 Substitution
3.4 Examination of failed components
3.5 Operational performance testing
3.6 Timed monitoring
3.7 Sectional isolation

4 The type and range of problems and faults may arise from environmental factors such as exposure to sudden temperature changes and/or from human error and/or from materials that have been used in or by the plant and 
equipment and/or from inherent features of the plant and 

equipment such as design aspects, age, and/or natural wear and tear.

5 The level and complexity of diagnosis can be achieved by applying procedures which are formally specified or which are devised by the candidate in response to the symptoms of the fault.

6 The record keeping systems and procedures to include:
6.1 Test results
6.2 Data sheets
6.3 Company procedures

Scope Knowledge

The Knowledge and Understanding levels expressed indicate the minimum level of knowledge and understanding sufficient to perform your role in a manner that would normally be associated with the minimum acceptable performance of a competent person undertaking your role.

The expression ”working knowledge and understanding” indicates you are able to:
1 Identify and apply relevant information, procedures and practices to your usual role in your expected working environments needing only occasional recourse to reference materials
2 Describe, in your own words, the principles underlying your working methods. This does not mean the ability to quote “Chapter and verse”. Rather you must know what supporting information is available, how and where to find it and from whom to seek further guidance and information confirm any additional required detail
3 Interpret and apply the information obtained to your role, your working practice and in your expected working environment





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

27 Mar 2022





Originating Organisation


Original URN

MPS Mech 9

Relevant Occupations

Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, Engineering Professionals, Manufacturing Technologies

SOC Code



determine, causes, faults, diagnostic, records, procedures, mechanical, plant, equipment