How Competency-Based Learning Can Work For Your Organization

Rachel Lallouz

I'm familiar with competency-based learning, but how would it work at my organization?

Competency-based learning programs deliver results - improving employee performance, allowing organizations to adhere to legal and regulatory obligations, securing the health and safety of employees through standardized training - we could go on! So how exactly do you go about accessing a competency-based learning program? What does it take to develop and implement one at your own organization?

This is where relying on the work of experts in learning resource development comes in. A highly skilled learning resource development team - complete with experienced instructional designers, technical writers, graphic designers and quality assurance specialists - is responsible for developing the learning resources that build the foundation of a competency-based learning program.

How is the competency-based learning program developed and implemented?

The learning resource development team will strategize and develop the key components of competency-based learning program, which includes the:

Skill profile

A learning resource development team will identify the knowledge, skills and learning attitudes required for your individualized competency-based learning program in what is called a skill profile. Working directly with your organization at a granular level, a learning and development team will use a combination of focus groups, working sessions and subject matter expert (SME) interviews to precisely identify the skills and responsibilities for a certain position. 

Sources and validation

Information gathered for the skill profile is often drawn from different sources who are either subject matter experts (SMEs) or practitioners in the field applicable to the position. These individuals serve as external consultants whose input helps develop program learning content that is accurate and realistic. Information gathered from SMEs and/or practitioners is then checked and verified to ensure it is reflective of best practices and relevancy in the field.

Learning Management System (LMS)

The LMS is the software which administers, documents, tracks, reports, automates and delivers the competency-based learning program to users. As the most important piece of technology involved in the development of a competency-based learning program, the LMS has many functionalities. Just a few of these functionalities include:

  • Customization
  • Testing and assessment 
  • User management
  • eCommerce

Moving forward with a competency-based learning program

You can see that the average competency-based learning program must be carefully strategized by a team of learning resource experts who have been primed to understand the training and learning needs of an organization---and deliver solutions to those needs through the implementation of specific learning resources. The question is, could you do this kind of work yourself? Or does your own organization have the capacity to carry out this level of program implementation?

As you'll learn in our next blog, it is often crucial to draw on the support of those with the right capabilities in order to fully develop and implement the most effective competency-based learning program possible.

This is the second article in a three-part series covering Chapter 3 of our Skilling Up textbook. To access other articles in this series, please navigate below.

Article 1 - What is a competency-based learning program?

Article 3 - Not yet available.

Rachel Lallouz

Rachel is our Writer/Book Development Coordinator and uses her experience in the fields of communication, editing and journalism to craft work that fits the flexible needs of BaseCorp and its clients. Her knowledge base has been shaped by her degrees in English and education. Rachel is originally from Vancouver, and is currently at work on her doctoral degree. In her spare time, Rachel is an avid cyclist and lover of all outdoor activities.