Competency based learning and assessment
Competency based assessment is a process where an assessor works with a trainee to collect evidence of competence, using the benchmarks provided by the unit standards that comprise the national qualifications.
It is not about passing or failing a candidate and evidence collection is more than just setting a test. During a semester a trainee may be required to undertake a series of tasks for assessment purposes such as assignments, projects, tests, exams or labs. It is the sum of all these assessments that deems a trainee to be competent (or not).
The unit of progression in a competency based training system, is mastery of knowledge and skills and is learner focused. Two key components of competency-based training are:
Skill a task or group of tasks performed to a specified level of proficiency which typically involves the manipulation of tools and equipment, or expertise that is knowledge or attitude-based.
Competency a skill performed to a specified standard under specific conditions.
The assessment process should be considered to be part of the learning process identifying gaps as learning opportunities to develop skills, not failures. It is a collaborative process to be negotiated with the trainee and not a one-off event that is imposed.
In the setting of a training provider, trainees can be given many opportunities to demonstrate skill and the assessment process should allow for the capturing and recording of these demonstrations.
Benefits of competency based assessment
Competency based assessment:
Allows trainees to build on skills gained in a natural progression within a timeframe.
Is part of a constructive and cooperative approach to developing the skills of trainees and it can identify the training needed to address gaps in competence; and
Candidates can gain a nationally recognised qualification.
For a trainee to be competent in a unit standard,...