What is competency-based training and assessment?
Simply put, competency based training is when a person is trained and assessed to meet specified standards that define the skills, knowledge, and behaviours required to safely and effectively ‘do a job.’ In other words, you are trained to be able to complete a specific job, or task. The training is complete when you can competently do the task you are being trained to do competently, not when the course finishes.
How competency-based training used?
We use competency-based training in aviation. When teaching a pilot to land an aircraft, we use many elements of competency-based training to ensure that the pilot is confident and competent in all situations that they may encounter in the real world. For example, we train the pilot to cope with rain, cross-winds, landing by day and night, in normal conditions and emergencies. We don’t focus so much on exam scores in the classroom (although this is part of training) but on their ability to demonstrate that they can safely land in all operational situations. I’m sure you’d agree that you prefer a pilot who is competent when landing, rather than a pilot who was not so good in crosswinds but got a perfect score on the exam about crosswind landing theory. The same for the medical profession. Would you want a doctor operating on you if she only ever completed a multiple-choice exam and never demonstrated her competence and skill in an operating theatre?
Progression through a competency-based training (CBT) program is determined by you demonstrating that you have met the competency standards. Emphasis is not so much on the amount of time spent learning the task but on your ability to perform the task well. To summarise a CBT and assessment system:
- Is about what a person can actually do (i.e., the outcome of training);
- It ensures training is to specified standards, (rather than ranking against others); and
- Reflects what a person must do in ‘real life’ or the workplace.
Benefits of competency-based assessment
The competency-based learning and assessment method is very efficient and allows you to be able to complete a program of learning much faster than traditional models of education. Competency-based training and 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 their competence; and
- Gets to the point, quickly, making it more relevant to the learner.
Why did we choose the competency-based method of teaching for this course?
We have chosen the competency-based teaching and assessment method for this course. Why; because it is critical that you are healthy and fit for duty. We don’t want to you to leave this course with just a broad understanding of the importance of nutrition, only to forget what you learned in a few months, we want you to leave the course with guided practical experience in managing your nutrition to a point where you can do it yourself, correctly. More than this, we want to give you a job aid (health log book) to ensure you stay on course and reinforce patterns that will stay with you for life