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Assessment of Task Competence


We are trying to create a training programme to ensure all employees are competence in the current role (task based). We have written work instructions but now wish to develop training which can be assessed by one of our internal employees with a view to an employee being confirmed competent at the end. We are looking at the NVQ type framework but are struggling to fit our exact training needs into this.

Does anyone have any advice.
Lesley Cairns

7 Responses

  1. NVQ formats
    Firstly I think it is a great idea and appreciate your problems with the fit into existing frameworks.

    If you can flag up the areas that need the most work we can assist you through this site.

    We need more detail on the type of occupational sector and the areas of competancy you are trying to measure first.

    TbD GLobal Ltd
    0870 241 3998

  2. Arian Associates Ltd
    You do not give any indication as to what type of work your people actually do.
    There are many occupational standards and associated NVQ’s. It would be quite unusual these days if your worforce did not fit into an already established competency category, but if it doesn’t you have to decide yourself exactly what you want your workforce to able to do in the environment in which you operate. Once you have carried out out this evaluation you are then in a position to move forward.
    If you need some help or would like to discuss – give me a ring 01670 590621

  3. Try Job specification
    Whether or not there is a NVQ or some form of competency statement for the occupation of this person, to me comparison is the answer, which equals producing a full and effective job specification. What the person to do? To what limits? Withing what period of time? Etc. Find a person who is fully skilled, if you have one in the organization, and use that person as the role model or base for the job specification. When the learner fulfils the job specification agreed, they are competent. For example, in the Army I was taught morse – when I reached the desired speed I was deemed competent and paid accordingly!

  4. Task Based Training
    I am in roughly the same predicament in having to produce training for tasks which do not seem to be covered by national standards.
    We specialise in lifting equipment and the lower level tasks are not covered by VQ etc.
    To this end I have designed courses to bring our staff up to the required level using our procedures and the Engineers use a Task Book OJT system to monitor candidate progress. When the candidate is deemed competent by the Engineer then he qualifies him.
    This system is working well in two of our sites where we also use the VQ system to give candidates the core skill (Enginering fundamentals) requirements.

  5. Competencies

    I spent many years assessing aircrew competencies in the RAF; surprisingly there was no NVQ for that either.

    The answer lies in an analysis of what is required and then an objective statement to define each specific element. But these need to be properly defined objectives, not those that I tend to read since leaving the military.

    They need to state Performance, Conditions and Standard. For instance:

    Performance – Carry out pressure and flow-rate test of hydrants.
    Condition – Given appropriate test equipment.
    Standard – To the satisfaction of the Unit Fire Officer.

    Performance – Pick up an underslung load and transport it from one location to another.
    Condition – Given a helicopter, an underslung load, the pick up and drop locations.
    Standard – Carrying out all procedures in accordance with the Aircrew Manual. In good weather conditions. Delivering the load to a marked out area at the delivery location measuring 10’ square.

    In this way your means of competency checking is already defined.

    Hope this gives you some ideas.



  6. Assessment of task competence

    I’ve been involved in developing and implementing a similar kind of scheme in the Environment Agency.

    Key to its success was defining exactly what it is that the business needed people to be able to do, and to what standard. This needed to be done by experts doing the job already to get a reality check, and instill a vital sense of ownership.

    We then asked managers and experts to tell us what evidence they would want to see to satisfy them that the standard had been reached.

    By doing this we got some very black and white evidnce requirements that were easy for our internal people to assess against.

    Saying that, internal assessors need to be well briefed and they, and their bosses, need to be aware of the kind of resource commitment needded to make such a scheme work.

    This kind of scheme needs to be held together in some type of learning log to give it some cohesion. We found it essential that regardless of the complexity of the task, the language and the processes must be simple and accessible.

    There was a tendency throughout the development to make the whole thking very complex, which would have crippled its use.

    For this reason it’s worth getting a good person in to craft the laguage and cut through the crap.

    I’m more than happy to talk more if you’re interested.

    Dan Pond

  7. Assessment of tasks
    We started our NVQ program a year and a half ago in a manufacturing environment. About 6 months ago we started using NVQ techniques to confirm that the training we were giving our manufacturing employees was actually value added and that the employee was “competent” although the employee was not registered in the NVQ program.

    We took our standard operating instructions and our work instructions, broke down the tasks into line items and had the trainer use this as a reference as to what to train the employee on. They also completed observation sheets from our NVQ program which showed they had actually observed the employee do the task. They had do to a minimum of two observations on each item to confirm competence. We also had formal questions (again from our NVQ program)which they asked the trainee.

    This requires the trainer to complete documentation on each trainee, with the paperwork being kept in the trainee’s file. We have started this in earnest over the last 3 months and are having some success. It is a more formal way of doing the training, standardises the training, and ensures the gaps are being formally identified. What you need are trainers that don’t mind completing documentation!

    I can send you examples if you like. E-mail me at [email protected]



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