What is competence?

About E-qual Competence Assurance

Competence is the combination of training, skills, experience and knowledge that a person has and their ability to apply them to perform a task safely and effectively. Other factors, such as attitude and physical ability, can also affect someone’s competence.

The essence of competence is relevance to the person’s workplace. Their level of competence only needs to be proportionate to their job and place of work.


What is competence assurance?

Competence assurance is a self-assessment process to enable organisations to manage workplace performance. It is the link between individual performance and organisational success. Effective competence management ensures that workflow is managed safely and efficiently, maximising productivity and ensuring workforce capability.

We live in an ever changing world where policies, procedures, legislation, regulations and technology are constantly evolving. Knowledge and skills acquired for where we are today may not be adequate or appropriate for the work of tomorrow.

Competence assurance identifies performance gaps and manages continual improvement.

How does E-qual help?

Our competence assurance solution helps you to assess workers, monitor progress and sign off individual competencies. This ensures that a worker’s competence is managed and the combined workplace performance is accurately monitored.

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What is competency assurance?

What is a competency framework?

A competency framework is a structure that sets out and defines each individual competence required by employees. A defined set of competencies for each role in a business shows workers the kind of job requirements, qualifications and behaviours that the organisation values, and those it requires to help achieve its objectives. With a framework in place, team members tend to work more effectively and achieve their potential. There are also many business benefits to personal performance being linked to corporate goals and values.

What is a competency framework?

Frameworks might be graded or contain different levels of attainment, but they should always contain the competencies that are required to do the role or task. Employees should be measured against requirements to perform safely and effectively.

Competency frameworks can be used to:

  • Ensure health and safety requirements are met
  • Upskill a workforce
  • Recruit and select employees with a strong fit to the role and organisation
  • Set performance expectations and measure contributions objectively
  • Focus employees on what is critical to enhance their performance and increase their level of work satisfaction
  • Provide a roadmap for employee development and career planning
  • Identify and assess 'competency gaps' in individuals and groups, thereby providing valuable insights for targeted development and training.

How does E-qual help?

Competence frameworks can be effortlessly created and edited in E-qual. The frameworks can be as simple or extensive as required, from one competence structure to hundreds of individual qualifications and courses.

Once created a worker can be assigned single or multiple competence frameworks as determined by organisation requirements.

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What are the types of competency framework?

Competency frameworks can be completely customised to suit the requirements of an organisation. However, they usually fall into one of two general categories:

Custom competency framework.

A custom competency framework is a purpose built framework that defines the knowledge, skills, and attributes needed for people within an organisation. Each individual role has its own set of competencies needed to perform a job effectively. These competencies are usually written by people within the company or consultants who have been brought in to perform that specific task.

These frameworks often consist of some common, standard competencies that are applicable across the organisation together with task specific competencies.

For example, there might be a set of competencies that cover general health and safety considerations, which may be assigned to all employees. Then there may also be financial management competencies which would only be assigned to those with a role involving financial tasks.

Job role framework.

A job role framework is a collection of training courses, qualifications and other competence measuring items that, collected together, form the requirements of a specific job.

These might be accredited qualifications such as assessed vocational qualifications, refresher courses, attended training courses and academic qualifications; plus in-house competence standards.

As a worker achieves these varied qualifications, they progress towards competence in that role.

How does E-qual help?

E-qual is designed to handle any type or combination of framework. Courses or competencies can be added for evidential assessment by a portfolio team or sign off by administrators and managers. Individual competence structures can be simple statement driven frameworks, refresher courses with expiry dates or full, unit based vocational qualification structures.

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Background to E-qual Competence Portfolio

How do you achieve competency?

Competency is achieved through the identification, assigning and completion of appropriate training. This helps workers gain the skills, experience and knowledge for their role in an organisation.

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Once competencies have been identified and frameworks created, they can be added to a competence management system. From that point onwards, monitoring of the progress towards achieving competency can begin.

Competency can be registered by signing off each of the elements of a framework. The more elements that a person has been deemed as competent in, the more effectively, efficiently and safely they can achieve their role requirements.

How does E-qual help?

E-qual enables competencies to be signed off as required. Qualifications with evidence to be assessed can be signed off by a portfolio team of assessors and verifiers. Other qualifications can be signed off by administrators and managers.

Each sign off adds to a person’s progress in their overall competence framework. This progress can be viewed by managers within the organisation and viewed in reports.

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What should I look for in a Competence Management System?

A good quality Competence Management System should be more than just a software application for ticking boxes. A system that can handle the full competency workflow will bring real and lasting benefits to any organisation.

Measuring the performance and development of all members of staff within a structured system will give an organisation more control over risk and cost. It can help with selection, training and development, staff deployment, assessment and help employees to effectively carry out their job role.

Allowing employees to see what is required of them thus encouraging them to take ownership of their improving competence enables a greater workforce buy-in to the idea of pursuing a competence assurance model.

There is an increasing focus from industry regulators and professional bodies on the need for formal processes to develop, maintain and monitor the competence of a workforce. Your system needs to prove to the regulators that your workforce is competent and capable.

How does E-qual help?

E-qual provides the complete competence management solution allowing for flexible input of users, frameworks, qualifications and courses. It contains live and historical data on individual user competence as well as extensive reporting across the organisation.

E-qual will make your competence management cheaper, more efficient and easier to manage.

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Background to E-qual Competence Portfolio