E-Learning Provocateur

It seems like for the time being the L&D calling has begun to battle with the meaning of terms, for example, “capacity”, “competency” and “expertise”.

A portion of our friends think of them as equivalent words – and subsequently tradable – however I don’t.

In fact I perceive unobtrusive yet amazing differentiations among them, so here’s my input’s to attempt to slice through the disarray.


Consistently, the contrast between the terms might be most obviously recognized when we consider a competency an assignment. It is something that is performed.

Our companions in professional training have effectively this sorted out. For instance, on the off chance that we allude to the Tap heaters unit of competency archived by the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment, we see components, for example, Plan and get ready for heater tapping and Tap liquid metal from heater.

Critically, we likewise see execution models, proof and appraisal conditions. Meeting a competency in this manner is paired: it is possible that you can play out the assignment effectively (you are “capable”) or you can not (in the positive speech of educationalists, you are “not yet equipped”).


Given a competency is an undertaking, a capacity is an individual property you attract upon to perform it.

A property might be information (something you know, eg charge law), an ability (something you can do, eg communicate in Japanese), or a mentality (a condition, eg dexterous).

I look at ability as an umbrella term for every one of these credits; they join with each other to engage the conduct that meets the competency.


As per the definitions I’ve illustrated above, we much of the time find in the working environment that “ability systems” are mislabelled “competency structures” and the other way around.

Terms, for example, Decision Making and Data Analysis are capacities – not abilities – and additionally they are abilities. Henceforth, in addition to the fact that I would lean toward they be alluded to thusly, yet additionally that they receive a functioning voice (Make Decisions, Analyze Data).

I likewise recommend they be supplemented by information and outlooks, in any case the assortment isn’t such a lot of an ability structure as a “abilities system”; which is fine, however self-restricting.


I have recently contended for the L&D group conveying an ability system as an essential objective, yet now the inquiry that asks to be posed is: would it be advisable for us to send a capacity structure or a competency system?

My common response to a bogus polarity like this is both.

Since abilities address a more significant level of reflection, they are adaptable across the entire association and are adaptable from part to job and gig to gig. They likewise will in general be nonexclusive, which implies they can be secured in mass from an outsider, and their low instability makes them supportable. The worth they offer is an easy decision.

Interestingly, skills are granular. They’re bespoke manifestations explicit to specific jobs, which makes them arduous to assemble and requesting to keep up. Having said that, their degree of customized esteem is out of this world, so I exhort they be conveyed where they are justified – focusing on mainstream jobs and crucial parts, for instance.


A rose by some other name would smell as sweet.

However a rose is certainly not a violet.

Likewise I keep up that capacities and skills are, by definition, extraordinary.

Regardless, on the off chance that we disregard them, the following term we’ll battle to characterize is “administration advertising”.

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