I have always been a firm advocate, and a committed practitioner, of the competency based training (learning) methodology.
I strongly believe that trainees should be awarded a “ Certificate of Competence” rather than a ‘Certificate of Attendance’, ‘Certificate of Completion’, ‘Certificate of Participation’, or whatever IF ‘successful’ after training – be it behavioral, functional, leadership, or language training.
The competency based training methodology places emphasis on “performing” rather than just “knowing”. It focuses on what the learner must know and be able to do after the training in order to perform effectively (achieve desired results) and efficiently (ensure optimum use of resources) on the job – regardless of whether training was undertaken in the classroom, on-the-job, electronically, or a combination of these.
The outcomes to be achieved are clearly identified and stated ensuring that:
- The learner knows exactly what he or she is expected to be able to do
- Trainers, facilitators, and/or coaches know exactly what content is to be developed
- Organizations know exactly what skills are required and being developed
Being assessment driven, the competency based training approach provides a mechanism for recording learning progress and milestones. Learners don’t just ‘sit through’ training but demonstrate use of the learning during various stages of the training program and at the end of it. When a participant has taken an assessment and fails to demonstrate the target competency or competencies, they are expected to undertake further learning or training before being assessed again. This cycle continues until the learner demonstrates full competence in the target area in accordance with evaluation metrics and standards.
This approach, I have noted from experience, ensures more proactive participation and commitment to learning, whilst also ensuring that the initiative is cost-effective, goal oriented, and productive.
In these austere times, more organizations should pursue the competency based training approach for developing their people in order to reduce wastage of valuable resources and ensure a solid return on investment.