The concept of competency-based learning isn’t new. In fact, its origins trace back to the 1960s when it was first incorporated into training schemes. But, despite its historical roots, the approach remains relatively uncharted territory within the realm of e-learning.
Today, an increasing number of companies are taking an interest in this methodology and how it can equip their workforce with the skills needed to succeed.
Want to know more about competency-based learning and how you can incorporate it into your organization? Keep reading to discover its benefits, along with implementation strategies to take your training to the next level.
What is competency-based learning?
Competency-based learning revolves around skills development. Competencies encompass the array of skills, knowledge, and qualities required for individuals to excel in their roles. In this context, competency-based learning is a strategic approach aimed at crafting training programs that prioritize the enhancement of an employee’s skill sets.
Unlike many traditional forms of training, this method seeks to equip learners with problem-solving abilities applicable in real-world scenarios. In other words, it doesn’t just involve learning information on a particular subject; it empowers individuals to translate knowledge into actionable practices.
Competency-based learning operates on the premise of assessing whether an individual has genuinely mastered a specific skill. Until they reach proficiency, they’re not able to advance ot the next level of education. This approach not only ensures a solid foundation but also cultivates continuous growth.
Key benefits of competency-based learning
To understand why competency-based learning is so effective, here are some of its key characteristics:
- Focus on practical skills
- Performance-based evaluation
- Content personalization
- Immediate application of knowledge
- Focus on the student
- Development of transferable skills
What are the benefits of competency-based learning for businesses?
This approach provides various benefits that have a direct impact on a company’s success and growth, as well as the development of its teams.
1. Elevate performance and productivity
Employees are better prepared to face the daily obstacles of their tasks with confidence and skill, because they have the necessary knowledge to do so.
2. Increase employee retention
Data shows that employees value organizations that invest in their personal and professional development. So, providing a training plan is key to keeping staff engaged and demonstrating a genuine interest in their growth.
If you take this a step further and pick a competency-based approach, employees can learn skills that are critical to their job success, increasing overall job satisfaction.
3. Cost and time reduction
Focusing on the development of certain skills allows for a more efficient and personalized approach to training. Carrying out specific training during the onboarding process also means a new employee can adapt to their role more quickly.
How to implement competency-based learning successfully?
A successful competency-based learning strategy relies on following a few key steps:
1. Identify the required competencies
The first step involves analyzing the skills and abilities that need to be strengthened in your teams. This should be done by assessing the current skill level of employees in each department and identifying any gaps.
2. Design the training program
Then, it’s time to design a training plan that focuses on the skills gaps you have identified. It’s important at this stage to consider your available budget and the goals you want to achieve.
3. Choose an e-learning tool
In this phase, you must choose the best tool to implement your competency-based learning plan. Select a versatile and user-friendly e-learning platform that enables employees to navigate courses with ease.
4. Provide ongoing support to employees
During the training phase, it is crucial to offer ongoing support to employees as they progress through their courses. This could involve assigning mentors or conducting periodic assessments to track progress. Many e-learning platforms have analysis tools to help you with this process.
5. Measure results
The final step involves evaluating the results of the training. This is a key phase in any training project because it allows you to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to your content.
As we have seen, competency-based learning is a solid approach to enhance skills in the workplace. Following the right implementation strategy, companies can include this methodology in their training plans and start to see results quickly.
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