What is competency based assessment?
How do you know how good a person’s business skills really are?
This was the question posed by the TV show The Apprentice. For those not familiar with this show, a group of people competed over a series of weeks to become the winner. Each week they were assigned real world business related tasks to complete. Their performance was then judged by the host of the show and a group of business savvy advisors. Each episode one person was eliminated until the final winner was determined.
The show was in effect a form of competency based assessment and is a good place to start your understanding on what it is and how it works. Like the show, competency based assessment seeks to determine whether a person can do a task or group of tasks and how well they can do them. It recognises that the most accurate way to determine a person’s competence at something is to assess them using their knowledge and skills in an on-the-job situation.
Every job requires a specific set of knowledge and skills. This varies depending on the type and complexity of the job. A competency based assessment process provides a way of building the skills and knowledge people need to perform their job. Similarly, the TV show The Apprentice was not just an assessment exercise. It was a learning process for the contestants. Beyond this winning the show meant gaining a role where you were an apprentice and would be able to learn further from an expert. Like the show, competency based assessment isn’t just an assessment exercise. It is a process of assessment, learning and re-assessment.