Understanding competency based training

To understand how Skills Recognition works, it is worth taking a look at the Competency based training which is currently the recognised training method for vocational training in Australia. However, you can skip this section and go onto the next section Skills Recognition step-by-step.

Competency based training emphasises what a person can do in the workplace as a result of completing training or through relevant experience and learning that has taken place in the workplace or elsewhere. Competency includes the capacity to:

  • Perform individual tasks
  • Manage a range of different tasks
  • Respond to contingencies, emergencies or breakdowns
  • Deal with responsibilities of the workplace

Competency standards define the skills, knowledge and attitudes required by industries for effective performance in the workplace. Competency standards can be broken down into smaller units of competency and each unit of competency describes a specific workplace activity. Once a person has been assessed as successfully completing a unit of competency, the assessor issues a Statement of Attainment. Units of competency can progressively build to a full qualification.

Competency based training and Skills Recognition

Competency based training operates on the concept that people can learn transferable skills and that most training is transferable. A person may already have skills and knowledge that will enable them to gain a unit of competency, or even a full qualification, without taking part in a whole training program. These skills and knowledge may have been gained through study, self-tuition, and work or life experience.

Skills Recognition is the acknowledgment, by a qualified assessor, that a person has gained relevant skills and knowledge that would have otherwise been developed through training, and that the skills and knowledge can be transferred to a new workplace or role.

It is possible to gain Skills Recognition for an entire qualification. However, if a person is working (or hoping to work) in a safety critical role within an industry such as rail, the evidence required by an assessor will need to be particularly strong.