I was first introduced to competency-based training several years ago. Through my personal experience as a designer and manager of a competency-based training, I have seen firsthand how competency-based training is the preferred method for skills development in the workplace.
People often ask me how competency-based training differs from traditional training and why it is a better approach. Here are 5 compelling reasons why competency-based training surpasses more conventional methods.
- Competency-based training targets skill gaps. Traditional training is often generic, rather than targeted toward specific skill development. Many traditional training programs have vague learning objectives. This results in training that fails to improve job performance.
- Competency-based training is performance-based. This means that it focuses on performance of skills, rather than just the acquisition of knowledge. Many traditional training programs provide huge amounts of information but fail to offer the skill practice needed to change performance.
- Competency-based training requires that learners take responsibility for their own learning. Learners are partners in assessing their skill gaps and in selecting the best ways for them to bridge those gaps. Traditional training is often planned by the instructor with little or no input from the learner. When learners are engaged in their own learning, they are more likely to improve their skills.
- Competency-based training builds the training capacity of the organization, by providing skill-based training programs customized for the job and workplace trainers who act as mentors and coaches. In traditional training, the role of the instructor is typically restricted to that of an expert within a classroom setting. With competency-based training, the workplace trainer’s coaching and mentoring role continues on an ongoing basis within the workplace.
- Competency-based training is customized to meet the specific requirements of your organization and its employees. Rarely will generic, off-the-shelf training programs meet the skill development needs of your organization. As a result, off-the-shelf programs often yield disappointing results. Implementing customized, competency-based training programs is the best way to ensure a positive return on investment on training expenditures.