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Capacity Building vs. Competency


What is the difference between the practice of capacity building and competency-based training, and does anyone have practice examples of what might be entailed?
Trevor Satour

2 Responses

  1. Capacity Building and Competencies – Case Study in Advice Sector
    For the last three years I have been involved in a capacity building project. This has involved working with voluntary and community sector organisations to help build their capacity to provide initial advice and information about local work and learning opportunities. We began by using NVQ Advice and Guidance programmes but these were too narrow and did not match the work roles of the advisers. We have decided that building capacity can be done in a more flexible way by providing resource packs, mentoring and access to a community learning adviser. Significantly, we have also developed a National Open College Network qualification that is flexible and meets the needs of staff from a range of backgrounds. We are in a small way now building the competence of these staff using core units of this qualification and helping them develop their capacity to provide information and advice to the public. I guess this is a lesson in: 1) finding out that competencies need to meet the needs of staff in a range of organisations, and that; 2) capacity building can be aligned with a competency framework if it is flexible and not a straitjacket.

  2. An example from S/NVQs
    I can give you an example from the area I work with: the delivery of S/NVQs. If I deliver a VQ (e.g., Learning and Development or Advice and Guidance), a candidate can gain a qualification demonstrating their competency in their job role. If I deliver training on setting up an S/NVQ programme or training for assessors and internal verifiers, I am helping other people to build the capcity to deliver VQs to candidates of their own. I hope this is helpful.


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