What is competency?

There are many definitions for competency and this concept is attracting the attention of many researchers. According to the common understanding, competency is a combination of Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes that are available or potential that can be learned by an individual or organization to successfully accomplish the task. The level and quality of work completion will reflect the level of competency of that person or organization. Thus, the term “Competency” is rather difficult to define;

Along with the concept of competency is the concept of “key competencies”, which includes a number of abilities that are considered fundamental. Based on these core competencies, learners can fulfill the requirements of learning as well as other requirements in different contexts and situations after achieving secondary competencies. According to the definition of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), core competencies include fundamental competencies such as reading comprehension capability, computational capability, problem solving capability, communication capability, … Therefore, the competency is more complex than skills and the proficiency level of a skill partly determines the level of competency. Diving deeper into the profession or the recruitment industry, we might perceive the concept of competency or “working competency” in a narrower scope, including specialized knowledge, working attitude and skills related to that job.

Competency-based education

Nowadays, a new approach can play an important role in closely linking training with the society and the labor market demands. That is how Education approaches competency. This model was formed and developed widely in the US in the 1970s and developed strongly in the 1990s in a series of educational institutions and businesses in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, … This strong development is due to the fact that many scholars and educators see this approach as the most powerful way to create a match between education, training and the demand for competency at workplace and a way to prepare the workforce for a globally competitive economy.

Competency-based training or competency-based education and training is an approach to teaching and learning that is frequently used in learning specific skills rather than abstract learning. It differs from other methods in which learning units are competencies. Evaluating students who are learning vocational training programs according to the competency approach is to assess the standard of output products … but that product is not only professional knowledge, working skills, but also the ability to apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to complete practical tasks that meet the needs of the business.

Benefits of Competency-based education

It is clear that the transition from knowledge-based education to competency-based education is the transition from what the students need to know to the students have to understand what they need to know and what they can do in different situations and contexts. Hence, competency-based education revolves around the students and the teacher plays the role of a guide. This method helps students to be more proactive in achieving the required competencies by each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Competency-approaching education is an educational form that can be applied to many different areas and contexts. Therefore, competency-based education focuses on output associated with the demands of the labor market.

Competency-based education model at VTC Academy

Competency-based education is an approach focused on the output of the teaching and learning process, which emphasizes how the learners achieve competency levels after the program. In other words, output quality plays the most important role for competency-based education. This means that the effective competency-based education program must begin with a clear picture of the critical competencies that learners need to achieve, followed by the development of the training program, then implement in teaching and develop assessment methods to ensure that the competency-based education achieves the set goals. It can be seen that the key element of competency-based education is to develop explicit output standards that clearly show the objectives of training, establishing conditions and opportunities to encourage learners to achieve those goals. A lot of recent researches has focused on studying the link between competency-based education and competency evaluation program. This also means that the competencies that learners need to achieve must be clear and specific. The curriculum will be divided into modules that focus on developing each specific competency of the learner according to the set objectives. In addition, the competency-based education program also allows learners to skip the modules of competencies that the learner has mastered through the evaluation during the learning process or the initial assessment results.

01 Research
Based on which industry is required by the recruitment market

02 Study
To meet the industrial standards: Basic knowledge on the industry, Basic and required soft skills of the industry, Actual required skills

03 Design
Based on the required competencies to meet the industrial standards and updated yearly

04 Evaluation
After admission, each student will have a competency profile, which will be evaluated continuously during the learning process and the outcome will be reflected on this competency profile

The first step in designing a competency-accessible training program is to identify the basic competencies that students need to achieve at the end of the course. Note that only some of the most necessary basic capabilities are identified, reflecting the objectives of the training program. Next is to develop the component capabilities of basic competencies in accordance with the objectives of the program. The capabilities of these components must be clearly stated, measurable and must be accurately described so that students can do what they can after the end of the course. Some of the characteristics that researchers note when developing competency-based education programs such as teaching methods and means must be diverse; learning materials, materials and tools must fully meet the program requirements; Students must be informed in advance of the competencies they need to achieve and must be continually responded to progress in learning to take appropriate actions to improve or improve the quality of their learning. VTC Academy has introduced a model of competency-based education to implement in training programs at VTC Academy. With this model, VTC Academy students are fully equipped with the knowledge, skills and working attitude to meet the workplace standard in each period and are highly praised by the recruitment partners. The syllabus will also be updated every year to ensure students have the latest knowledge & skills to meet with the rapidly changing technology world and the labor market.

Competency evaluation and job guarantee at VTC Academy

In order to assess the competency of qualified students, it is required to evaluate through different methods and means. If the competency is seen as the ability to use knowledge, skills, and attitudes in a coordinated way to solve problems in specific contexts, then the curriculum and the assessment methods must also coordinate all three elements. The advantage of this method is that the reliability of the assessment results will be higher and the exam pressure will be reduced due to the test, theory, knowledge is no longer the only result that determines academic progress of students. In conjunction with tests, other tools such as assessment, interview, student observation and third-party consultation (teachers, managers, academic officers,…), are also widely used to comprehensively evaluate the competency of students. This assessment method is also called the authentic assessment.

Authentic assessment method is applied to evaluate students’ competencies in the most objective and accurate way. Each student attending VTC Academy will be provided with a competency profile, which is up-to-date regularly. After the end of each semester, students will be able to attend a competency assessment interview to assess the student’s assessment. After that, based on the results of this assessment, the students will be provided appropriate consultancy and guidance to help them develop their good competencies as well as overcome their weak ones.