To explain why measuring competency is becoming more acceptable, let’s first explain what competence brings. A competent individual has the skills needed to fulfil their job role and contribute towards the productivity of the organisation. The biggest gap between actual and required skills is at the start of someone’s career. A gap is also found at each change in job role, each promotion and each new business development opportunity. So every step in the employee’s career requires a change in that person’s skills profile. These skill sets also need to evolve with the business needs.
Competence results when an employee can demonstrate evidence that they can apply their knowledge and understanding to the task in hand in a consistent manner. Reducing the time to demonstrate competence can save organisations significant savings. These saving are quantifiable. Measuring the time to competency is a metric that can be used to demonstrate business performance and ties in nicely to any training required to ensure the competency is reached.
Lack of workforce competence is a huge cost to an organisation, both to budget and reputation. Lack of focus on developing competence can also be a major contributing factor to poor employee motivation, satisfaction and retention. The Towards Maturity 2016-17 Unlocking Potential* indicates that the majority (90%) of learning professionals want to play an active role in supporting business innovation. Although recording that time to competency is down by 15% from last year, with only 22% of their learning provision via any sort of blended learning solution. Demonstrating the difficulties learning professionals are having with no adequate systems to quickly and accurately measure competence. This is all whilst 7 in 10 employees engage with online learning because they are motivated by being able to do their jobs better and faster. It seems the time is right for competence based assessment to be introduced into the workplace.