I had my first introduction to competency-based training in the late 80s when I started a competency-based internship program. After many years of working with competency-based training in many sectors and industries, I am more convinced than ever that this classic approach is the most effective workforce development system.

Here are seven compelling reasons why competency-based training is a great investment for your business:

  1. Competency-based training is performance based.  That means that it enables the learner to learn how to perform the skills required for the job, rather than just know about them. Oftentimes training focuses on providing information rather than skill development.
  2. Training content is targeted directly towards the performance required for the job. Too often training programs are generic rather than tailored to meet specific skill gaps. Training is too costly to miss the mark.
  3. Competency-based training is modular. This provides flexibility and efficiency as learners work on modules that meet their specific needs. There is no need to waste time on unnecessary training.
  4. An investment in competency-based training builds organizational capacity. A competency-based training system includes skill-based training modules for learners and coaching tools for internal trainers. Internal trainers guide learners to focus on their skill development needs and provide feedback on their performance.
  5. Competency-based training builds employee confidence and accountability. The system recognizes skills that employees have already mastered. Employees take an active role in planning and evaluating their learning.
  6. Competency-based training occurs in the workplace so skills are learned in their true context.  It is difficult to provide effective training outside the actual context in which the skill is performed.
  7. Competency-based training promotes a consistent standard of performance across the organization. Training modules provide the tools for ongoing monitoring and reinforcement of best practice work methods.