Competency-Based Learning


This is making huge waves at all levels of learning and development, and companies are also realising that what is really important is not that employees sit through training, but that they can do something useful at the end of it.


Competency-based training requires reorganising training programs around demonstrable skills, which requires clearly articulating the desired learning outcomes and developing assessments that validly measure those outcomes. Organisations that adopt a competency-based approach will find themselves much better able to cope with the skills gaps currently affecting many industries.


Mirroring what is happening in higher education, the training landscape is in a bit of an upheaval, which is being fuelled by new technology-enabled learning tools and by new ideas about the best ways to educate today’s workforce.


Understanding competency-based training


Competency-based training emphasises what a person can do in the workplace as a result of completing training or through relevant experience and learning that has taken place in the workplace or elsewhere. Competency includes the capacity to:


  • Perform individual tasks
  • Manage a range of different tasks
  • Respond to contingencies, emergencies or breakdowns
  • Deal with responsibilities of the workplace


Competency standards define the skills, knowledge and attitudes required by industries for effective performance in the workplace. Competency standards can be broken down into smaller units of competency and each unit of competency describes a specific workplace activity. Once a person has been assessed as successfully completing a unit of competency, an assessor or manager issues a Statement of Attainment. Involve experts in this stage and have the line managers assess the learners during the training program so that improvements can be reinforced. For example, if you have a low-score assessment result, you can increase reinforcement activities to improve competency achievement. This strategy saves time and creates a true competency-based training program.


 Units of competency can progressively build to a full qualification.


  1. Measure employee learning rather than time
  2. Harness the power of technology for teaching and learning
  3. Shift the focus from the Trainer to the Trainee
  4. Align competencies with assessments


Creating a competency-based training program is not as challenging as it seems, if you require any assistance give us a call on 0333 5777144

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