Competency Based Learning

How to build a competency based learning programme.

Diagram about learning momentum to support our competency based learning process page.

If you define a competence and publish it as a desired or required standard, you can leave it up to the individual to organise their own learning.

The following process provides a step by step guide for establishing your own competency based learning programme.

1. Define the required competence.

a) List all the things a person with this competence should know. This doesn't need to be a list of the actual knowledge, just the classifications. For example, "How the company was formed." and "The unique features of (product name)".

b) List all the things a person with this competence should be able to do. For example, "Plan a sales call according to nominated method." and "Qualify a sales opportunity using (nominated method)".

c) List all the things this person is expected to do together with when each thing needs to be done. For example, "Update a sales forecast weekly." and "Organise progress review meetings for all nominated accounts, at least once a quarter".

2. For each element of knowledge, listed skill, and required action, identify a manual, online resource, guide, or other document that enables those needing to develop the competence, to obtain the necessary information together with appropriate forms and tools.

3. Create a web page or hyperlinked document that presents all elements of the competence model together with the locations of the information necessary for learning each element of the knowledge, skill, and habitual action.

4. For gamification, create a badge to represent each element or group of elements of the competence model.

5. Publish the competence model to those required to have the competence together with the expected compliance policy.

6. Ask all those who are required to have the competence, to assess their compliance. Use a scoring system so that they can indicate their degree of attainment for each element of the competence model.

7. Verify the accuracy of the participants self assessment through a one-to-one interview.

8. Ask those with unacceptable gaps to submit their plan for attaining compliance with the declared policy.

9. Establish a cadence of review to maintain and update the competence model over time. We recommend full reviews involving all stakeholders at least once a year.

There is a lot of work to do if you recognise the potential of competence led learning however, the benefits are significant:

  • Team members take responsibility for attaining competence.
  • Appraisals cease to become a chore and instead are progress reviews.
  • Managers are freed up to focus on results.
  • Objective assessment can be used for recruitment selection.
  • Staff turnover decreases.
  • Job satisfaction increases.
  • Sales process becomes self-governing
  • Sales forecasts accuracy improves
  • Sales performance increases
  • The cost of selling is reduced

While the benefits of such an initiative are overwhelming, establishing a competency based learning programme can be too challenging for organisations who are fully occupied with day to day business priorities. 

We can help. Knowing the process, we can do the work, taking direction from appropriate leaders in your organisation.

If you want to adopt competency based learning quickly, call us now. Telephone +44 (0)1392 851500. Alternatively send an email to or use the contact form here .