Competency-based approach: blending performance with learning innovation

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Competency-based Training of Trainers is a strategy that aims at recognizing and certifying pedagogical competences, being innovation the main transversal competence.

In the last decades, the competency-based approach spread worldwide with the purpose of being the conjunction between the educational offer and the labour demand. There are several systems – related to their cultural and economic environment – and they all have their comprehensive set of practices and tools for competences’ recognition and certification as well as for learning design and implementation. The common denominator is the collection of evidence that can prove the capacity of the practitioners of performing according to quality standards in different contexts.

A competence is a fusion of values, psychomotor skills and knowledge that leads to valuable and effective performance in different environments.

When designing education and training for competency acquisition and certification, the performance is disaggregated into a series of competence units, which are again decomposed into competence elements, being each of them made by values, skills and knowledge and related to a specific evidence or assessable proof or product.

ITCILO supporting trainers in a continuously changing workplace

Several Programmes have been designed and implemented in a competency-based manner at the Centre. Among those, there is the Competency Based ToT, which has the vision of blending the competency-based approach with learning innovation. More info here.

Competency Based ToT  supports trainers in the development of up- to-date pedagogical competences, with a special focus on creativity.   In fact, the demand for ability to generate (good) ideas and readiness to be flexible and adaptable is not a trend or a future forecast but is already happening. People are daily requested to be innovative, creative and ready for continuous learning and change.

But is training designed to support them? Are trainers able to support human resources to develop their capacity of being innovators?

Most people consider themselves as not creative. However, we can all be, if immersed in a culture of creativity and training is there to create this environment, open and conducive for innovation.

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Trainers are the first ones who are pushed to learn how to be innovative in order to create inspiring environments. Learning technologies and methodologies, learning innovation in general, can do so much, for trainers first and then of course for their trainees.  A Competency-based ToT strategy has the rigorousness and the flexibility to help trainers to move forward and acquire those competences there are needed in a continuously changing world.

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No matter what is the content ones trains on, trainers need to be ready to help their participants to become able to face unpredictable changes and a competency-based ToT can be seen as the channel toward such a capacity.

Photo Credits: Jacopo Maino/