What Is A Communication Plan?

Matthew Becker

Why is effective communication necessary for a competency-based learning program?

In order to mitigate risks (or undesirable events and conditions) that might accompany changes made at an organization, it’s important to develop specific communications processes for a competency-based learning program. This includes changes that unfold with the implementation of new training, learning, and educational measures.

These changes, or risks, can be explored through a communications plan. So, how do you develop a communications plan, and who should be involved? Read on to learn more.

What is the communications plan?

The communications plan is the document that explains:

  • The communication need
  • The goals of that communication
  • Who will be involved in facilitating them

Implementing a competency-based learning program involves exchanges between different stakeholders, support systems and companies that cooperate to implement the program. Communication processes are typically formalized in an official communications plan.

When implementing a competency-based learning program, effective communication facilitates the changes that unfold with new training and educational programs and initiatives.

What is the significance of a communications plan?

Given the connection between change and competency-based learning program implementation, communication may also refer to more complex processes, such as the persuasion of individuals to modify their attitudes or partake in changes prescribed as part of a change management strategy.


What’s in a communication plan?

There are many parts to a communications plan. For the implementation of a competency-based learning program specifically, this would include:

  1. Identify ongoing change initiatives (the current initiatives analysis)
  2. Complete the stakeholder analysis
  3. Complete the communication analysis
  4. Prepare the communication collateral, which includes the: a. Q&A sheet b. Competency-based project communication documents c. Project summary PowerPoint d. “Log on and get started” poster e. Project announcement poster
  5. Deliver the communication


What does the communications plan establish?

The communications plan establishes the content of the communications supporting the implementation of your competency-based learning program. The content is information that may be written or verbal and that comprises exactly what is being delivered through the communication. Content carries certain messages—the meanings or narratives of the content. Content could include:

  • Online articles
  • Videos
  • Dialogue in-person
  • Board meetings
  • Visual media

Regardless how you choose to deliver the communications plan, it needs to be a formalized, multistep process that highlights change initiatives that come with implementing new training, learning, and educational measures. It needs to involve stakeholders, support systems, and companies who implement the competency-based learning program.

This is the first article in a three-part series covering Chapter 6 of our Skilling Up textbook. To access other articles in this series, please navigate below.

Article 2 - How to Develop an Effective Communication Plan

Article 3 - Implementing Your Communications Plan

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Matthew Becker

Matthew applies his many years of experience in teaching, EdTech, and learning resource development to create engaging and meaningful learning experiences. As an Instructional Designer at BaseCorp, he is keen on leveraging educational technologies to help learners reach "Aha!" moments in new and exciting ways.