All businesses in the UK are required by law to have a Competent Person in place to advise of health and safety. The more risks and the more complex the operations involved in the business the more experience and or qualifications this person must have. You must have help from a competent person to enable you to meet the requirements of health and safety law.
When looking to fulfil the role of a Competent Person, you should give preference to those in your organisation who have the appropriate level of competence (which can include the employer themselves) before looking for help from outside. However, in many situations the Directors and staff, although highly trained and experienced in what they do, find that they are lacking in the health and safety knowledge or time required to achieve what they need to within their industry.