Competency based assessment is a process where an assessor works with a trainee to collect evidence of competence, using the benchmarks provided by the unit standards that comprise the national qualifications.
During a semester a trainee may be required to undertake a series of tasks for assessment purposes such as assignments, projects, tests, exams or labs. It is the sum of all these assessments that deems a trainee to be competent (or not).
The unit of progression in a competency-based training system, is dependent on mastery of knowledge and skills and is learner focused. Two key components of competency-based training are:
• Skill – a task or group of tasks performed to a specified level of proficiency which typically involves the manipulation of tools and equipment, or expertise that is knowledge or attitude-based.
• Competency – a skill performed to a specified standard under specific conditions.
The assessment process should be considered to be part of the learning process identifying gaps as learning opportunities to develop skills, not failures. It is a collaborative process to be negotiated with the trainee and not a one-off event that is imposed.
In PTB's setting, trainees are be given many opportunities to demonstrate skill and the assessment process allows the capturing and recording of these demonstrations.