Case In Point: The University of Wisconsin system has adopted a Competency-Based Admissions (CBA) process. The CBA process is an assessment of high school students' performance on a set of defined academic competencies English, mathematics, science, social studies, and foreign languages. High school teachers assess students' level of competency and report results on a Standardized Reporting Profile. The CBA initiative provides students from high schools with non-traditional curricula an equitable opportunity to gain admission to University of Wisconsin institutions. It supports K-12 school reform initiatives and keeps the traditional university admission process from becoming a potential barrier to those efforts. For more information visit http://www.uwsa.edu/bor/policies/rpd/rpd7-3.htm.
Case in point - The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute used the logic of competency models to develop the Hospitality Skills Certification (HSC) program. The HSC program is a competency-based certification program that recognizes line employees in the hospitality industry for their knowledge and job performance in occupations such as guest services, food and beverage server, and housekeeping. Through an assessment and testing process, employees earn a designation that acknowledges their competence in the duties they perform. For more information about this program, visit http://ahlei.org/content.aspx?id=29346.
Case In Point: The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has endorsed a competency-based Skills Certification System that supports the delivery of competency-based, customized education and training for the manufacturing workforce. The system is built on the Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model a framework of competencies developed by manufacturing industry associations in collaboration with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System is designed to ensure a pipeline of skilled workers in manufacturing and to provide a clear understanding of the competencies needed by 21st century manufacturers. For more information visit http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Education-Workforce/Skills-Certifi
Case In Point: The Bioscience Competency Model is informing the development of new credentials in the field. The National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce, located at Forsyth Technical Community College (FT) in Winston-Salem, NC, is working with its partner the Manufacturing Institute to catalyze the development of nationally portable, third party validated, and industry driven credentials in the biosciences. The Center sees the Bioscience Competency Model as a useful framework to support this effort because of the way it reveals potential educational and career pathways, and specifies basic academic, workplace, and technical skills. For more information, visit http://www.biotechworkforce.org or http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.
Case In Point: The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) works to bring together appropriate state and local partners to align education and workforce programs with the future talent development needs of companies. To support this effort, MERIC develops competency models for targeted industry clusters using the Employment and Training Administration's Building Blocks framework. MERIC has completed models for Energy, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Transportation, and, most recently, a collection of models for six Green sectors: Building, Energy, Farming, Manufacturing, Public Administration, and Salvage Remediation. The model reports identify target occupations and lists knowledge areas, tools and technology used in the occupation, and relevant education programs for each. For more information and to view the other Missouri Target Industry Competency Models, visit
Case In Point: The AFL-CIO Working for America Institute (WAI) developed the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Strategies Tool Kit to provide a comprehensive set of resources for unions, employers, Workforce Investment Boards, and other partners who are working to address workforce challenges in the industry. The Tool Kit includes the Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model developed by the Employment and Training Administration in collaboration with industry partners. The model is a resource that identifies the skills and competencies that manufacturers need from their workers to stay competitive and serves as a starting point for discussions about training and certification models. For more information, visit http://www.workingforamerica.org/toolkit/default.asp.
Case In Point: Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Virginia takes a competency-based approach to teaching and instructional evaluation. CTE programs use specific course task lists and "Student Competency Records" as comprehensive internal documentation of student achievement. CTE programs enhance this "self evaluation" system by providing students the opportunity to verify skills learned by passing "Job Ready" occupational competency assessments from the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI). NOCTI assessments are not considered industry certifications, but are valuable tools in providing external credentialing for a CTE program as well as being used for program improvement purposes. For more information, visit http://www.cteresource.org/about/index.html.
Case in Point: To provide comprehensive and consistent orientation to their Acute Care Nursing Units, The University of California, San Diego Medical Center developed the Nursing Competency Based Orientation Pathway (CBO). The CBO guides new employees in understanding the expectations of the University. The competencies identified in the CBO provide a foundation for employee development efforts that promote high standards of nursing practice. New hires complete a self-assessment before orientation begins. The results of the self-assessment inform the development of individualized orientations tailored to the learning needs of the employee. For more information, visit http://edr.ucsd.edu/NR/rdonlyres/D5EF5EA5-004E-4E2E-BFBB-4F0FF7CBDBDC/0/NUR
Case In Point: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is using competency-based assessments to evaluate border patrol agents seeking promotion to supervisory positions. The assessment battery has four components: Job Knowledge Assessment, Critical Thinking Skills Exercise, Managerial Writing Skills Exercise, and Border Patrol Career Experience Inventory (CEI). These tests measure job-related skills essential for effective performance in the full range of supervisory, managerial, and staff officer positions. The goals of the competency-based assessments are to measure job-related competencies fairly and objectively, identify the most qualified candidates for supervisory and managerial positions, and provide diagnostic feedback on training needs. For more information visit http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/careers/study_guides/guides_supervisory
Case in point - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, working with a consortium of states, is developing the Work Readiness Credential based on the competencies a worker needs for entry into the workplace. The Work Readiness Credential is based on a cross-industry standard, defined by experts from multiple business sectors, of what competent entry-level workers need to be able to do. For more information, visit http://www.uschamber.com/icw/strategies/workreadinesscredential.htm.
Case in Point: The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science has developed a comprehensive Body of Knowledge to define the competencies needed for success in a variety of professions in the geospatial industry. The resource specifies what aspiring geospatial professionals need to know and be able to do. The Consortium anticipates this resource will serve as the basis for developing curricula; comparing educational programs; informing professional certification; and guiding employee recruitment, selection, and professional development. For more information, visit http://www.ucgis.org/priorities/education/modelcurriculaproject.asp.
Case in Point: The United States Office of Personnel Management created an Assessment Decision Tool as a resource to enhance hiring and assessment strategies. The tool enables managers and human resource personnel to customize the assessment strategies used to measure specific competencies. Users can search for and select competencies by occupational group; by occupational series number or title; or for the competencies needed by supervisors, managers, or executives. The tool provides an overview of possible assessment methods to effectively measure those competencies. For more information, visit the Personnel Assessment and Selection Resource Center at http://apps.opm.gov/ADT/Content.aspx?page=home.
Case in Point The State of Hawaii's Competency-Based High School Diploma Program provides adults who are non-high school graduates a valid option to obtain the Hawaii high school diploma. The program enables adults to further develop their communication skills-reading, writing, listening, and speaking; computation skills; problem-solving skills; and interpersonal skills. The activities are designed to help adults become functionally competent individuals within five units: Community Resources, Government & Law, Health, Occupational Knowledge, and Consumer Economics. For more information, visit http://doe.k12.hi.us/communityschools/diplomacompetencybased.htm.
Case In Point: The New Hampshire Department of Education developed a Competency-based Assessment System (CAS) open to all grade levels in secondary schools across the state. The CAS, designed to assess, document, and articulate what students are able to do, includes 10 key competencies with performance standards for each competency. A Competency-based Transcript is used to record the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students have demonstrated. The transcript combines the recording of traditional grades, test scores, and class ranking with a place and method for recording a student's proficiency in a number of skill areas. The CAS three-pronged approach to assessment provides a framework for teaching and learning that lets students and teachers engage in ongoing discussions about competency development. For more information visit http://www.ed.state.nh.us/education/doe/organization/adultlearning/guidance
Case In Point: The Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan (WBLP) is a diagnostic, goal-setting, and assessment tool used to provide structure for young adults in job, internship, or cooperative education placement. The first section of the WBLP lists foundation skills that participants will be expected to apply on the job. At the onset of the work experience, participants review the Foundation skills. In section two, students list the specific Workplace skills they would like to develop and the tasks and performance goals that will help them develop these skills. The third section serves as the framework for periodic evaluations to review progress on both the Foundation and Workplace skills. By clearly communicating job expectations, the WBLP helps participants be more productive and successful on the job, makes it clear how work experience can be used as a learning opportunity and an opportunity to build skills, and facilitates the assessment of skills gained during the experience. For more information visit http://www.skillslibrary.com/wbl.htm.
Case in point - The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) defined competencies for workers in the metalworking industry to create skill standards to serve as benchmarks for performance in the industry. The competencies are used to help define a skills and training framework for the metalworking industry nationwide, and serve as the basis for a certification program and an apprenticeship program. For more information on these programs, visit https://www.nims-skills.org/web/nims/7.
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- To keep pace with technological change and benchmark the effectiveness of the manufacturing workforce, the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) has recently created skill standards that identify critical work functions, competencies, and performance indicators of competency achievement. The skill standards will be used for many purposes, including certification and curriculum development. For more information, visit http://www.msscusa.org/
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- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) maintains a competency-based infrastructure supported by related training and development activities for managers and employees in key occupations. This infrastructure serves as the basis for many different human resource programs such as career development programs, professional certifications, and licensure programs. For an example of a competency-based licensure exam guide for commercial pilots, visit http://www.faa.gov/training_testing/
Case in Point: In order to define the full breadth of expected knowledge for a certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP), the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) plans to adopt the core competency areas listed in the Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge. The Body of Knowledge identifies 24 of 114 competency units as representing the minimal content for any qualifying program. GISCI plans to modify its standard GISP application to include a requirement for the applicant to certify that he or she has the range of knowledge, skills, and abilities listed in those 24 core competency units through some combination of education and experience. For more information, visit http://www.gisci.org/Competency_Based/core_competency_model.aspx.
Case in point - ACT developed the WorkKeys assessment tools which give students and workers reliable, relevant information about their workplace skill levels in nine competency areas: Applied Mathematics, Applied Technology, Business Writing, Listening, Locating Information, Observation, Reading for Information, Teamwork, and Writing. Several states have worked together to develop Career Readiness Certificates based on the WorkKeys assessments. The Career Readiness certificate provides employers a measure of assurance that a worker has the skills needed for success. For more information, visit http://www.act.org/workkeys/index.html
Case In Point - The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) has developed a competency model for workplace learning and performance professionals. The model outlines the foundational competencies, areas of expertise, and workplace roles needed for success in the workplace learning and performance field. The pyramid-shaped model provides the framework for ASTD's Professional Certification Program. The certification covers the broad spectrum of learning and performance, and addresses the nine areas of specialized expertise depicted in the middle tier of the ASTD Competency Model. For more information, visit http://www.astd.org/content/research/competency/.
Case in Point: To measure critical project management competencies, Boston University's Corporate Education Center developed a Project Management Competency Development Process. The three part process (assess, develop, measure) enables managers and leadership to identify skill set requirements, hire more qualified people, and create effective development plans. At the center of the process, the Project Management Competency Model comprises three major categories that make up a project manager's competency: technical, personal, and business/leadership. The technical and personal categories map to standards for best practices, which enables the Center to collectively profile, assess, develop, and measure project management competencies. For more information, visit http://www.butrain.com/mdp/CompModel.asp.
Case In Point: The Capital Workforce Partners (CWP), a regional Workforce Investment Board in northeastern Connecticut, takes a comprehensive competency-based approach to youth career development. Founded on a set of career competencies identified by CWP and area employers, the Career Competency System comprises three personal learning and career plans. (1) The Personal Development Profile enables youth to identify personal development assets and how external and internal factors affect learning and working. (2) The Career Competency Learning Plan informs youth about competencies, assesses ability in each competency, and captures data regarding individual progress. (3) The Career Interest Inventory allows youth to conduct career research, focus career education exploration, and receive mentoring. One of the main goals of the system is for youth to demonstrate their ability to enter the workforce and/or postsecondary career education by becoming Workforce Certified (the achievement of CWP Career Competencies). For more information visit http://www.capitalworkforce.org/partners/index.shtml.
Case In Point: The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine has developed and implemented a competency-based approach to learning assessment. Students use educational portfolios to document their progress in nine core competencies: research, medical knowledge, communication, professionalism, clinical skills, clinical reasoning, health care systems, personal development, and reflective practice. The portfolios enable students to track their progress, identify their strengths and weaknesses across competencies, and develop individualized learning plans. The competency-based program has no grades or comprehensive exams. Students demonstrate competence via essays and behavioral evidence. At the end of each year, a committee reviews the essays and evidence to assess whether a student has achieved sufficient competence in the identified areas. For more information visit http://www.clevelandclinic.org/cclcm/academics_assesment.htm.