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What is competency-based training?

by Maria Onzain

The traditional education system has taught us that if we want to get a degree, we need to study certain topics, complete the assignments, apply ourselves in exams and finish the course within a specific timeframe. But why should we all follow the same type of training when we all have different learning styles and professional experience? Well, you don’t have to. With the increase in demand for more personalised learning, there is now a rise in competency-based training.

Read this article to find out more about what competency-based training is and what the benefits of it are. You’ll also discover whether you need competency-based training in order to be considered for specific jobs.

What do you need to know about competency-based training?

Competency-based training (CBT) was introduced in Australia in the late 1980s. It is the nationally recognised training method for vocational learning.

It’s a flexible style of education that adapts to each learner. Also known as competency-based learning, it is more often used in learning specific sets of skills, rather than abstract knowledge.

Instead of standardising the learning process, competency-based training considers each individual’s current level of knowledge relative to that of the outcomes required. This means that training is designed and implemented to fill that specific knowledge and experience gap.

What are the main benefits of competency-based training?

There are many benefits of competency-based training, but here are three key benefits to consider as an adult learner, to discover if this method works for you:

1. You build on your existing knowledge

With the competency-based learning approach, there aren’t courses or modules. Every skill or learning outcome is classed as one single unit, which is recognised as a “competency”. You’ll focus on a single competency at a time.

Unlike traditional learning methods, where you get good or bad grades, you will be viewed as either “competent” or “not yet competent”. You can also retake any assessments until you reach a “competent” standard, in order to move on to the next competency.

These “competencies” are designed for you based on your actual knowledge and professional experience. In this sense, you will be acquiring the specific set of skills you need to achieve a level of competency.

2. You learn at your own pace

CBT focuses on the skills that you possess and the steps you need to take to achieve the next level of competency. Unlike other learning methods, you can take these steps at your own pace. This is one of the main benefits of CBT, especially for adult learners, as it gives you complete freedom and flexibility to study around your existing commitments.

3. You gain real-world experience

Unlike traditional degrees, CBT competencies focus on the practical skills required to achieve the desired outcome. These programs generally consist of online learning, which is complemented by real-life experience, allowing you to prove your mastery in the specific field. This type of tangible experience will help you stand out from the crowd, as it is exactly what employers are looking for.

Is competency-based training required to get specific jobs?

It is possible to follow competency-based training to obtain qualifications that are relevant to every industry. In some cases, competency-based training is linked to Australia’s regulations, and it is the minimum standard required to work in a specific profession. In some other cases, the qualifications are not a prerequisite, but they are highly desired in order to help secure the job.

If you want to acquire certain skills that will help you take the next step in your career, competency-based learning may be ideal for you! Browse Open Colleges now for a wide selection of competency-based training courses.

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