Characteristics of CBET

Unlike the traditionally academic orientation that many training programmes have, competency-based training programmes are characterised by:

  • Focusing on labour performance and not the content of the course;
  • Improving the relevance of what is learned;
  • Avoiding the traditional fragmentation of academic programmes;
  • Facilitating the integration of contents applicable to the job;
  • Generating applicable lessons to complex situations;
  • Encouraging the autonomy of individuals;
  • Transforming the role of the teachers towards facilitating and problem solving.

Other features of Competency based programmes

  • Competencies are carefully identified, verified and in the public domain (of public knowledge).
  • Instruction is aimed at the development of each competency.
  • The assessment and evaluation take into account knowledge, skills, attitudes and performance, as the main sources of evidence.
  • The progress of the trainees during the training goes at the pace of each individual.
  • Instruction is individualised as much as possible.
  • Emphasis is placed on the results – outcomes based.
  • The participation of workers in the development and implementation of learning strategies is required.
  • The learning experiences are guided by continuous feedback.

Limitations of CBET Prior to implementing CBET:

  • Unless initial training and follow up assistance are provided for the trainers, there is a tendency to “teach as we were taught” and CBET trainers quickly slip back into the role of the traditional teacher.
  • A CBET course is only as effective as the process used to identify the competencies. When little or no attention is given to the identification of the essential job skills, then the resulting training course is likely to be ineffective.
  • A course may be classified as competency-based, but unless specific CBET materials and training approaches (e.g. learner guides, checklists and coaching) are designed to be used as part of a CBET approach, it is unlikely that the resulting course will be truly competency-based.