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This article provides a snapshot of the pedagogy, competency based training, that is currently used in the VET sector, medical education and veterinary education

How do you learn most effectively?

When Ammonite started back in 2013 they set out to design an Learning Management System (LMS) for the Vocational Education and Training (VET). Competency based training is the pedagogy ground the VET industry, with the focus on whether students can achieve a specific outcome rather than awarding a grade for a project. This means we can rely on our tradespeople to exhibit the skills we need in a highly regulated industry.

This article provides a snapshot of the pedagogy, competency based training, that is currently used in the VET sector, medical education and veterinary education


What is competency based training

Competency based training ensures the learner applies the “combination of skills, abilities, and knowledge needed to perform a specific task” (U.S. Department of Education, 2001, p. 1). It focuses on an outcome that is measured against specific standards within an industry rather than against specific students (Smith 2010).

This pedagogy focuses on whether a student can achieve an outcome or not and rather than applying a specific grade or rewarding more points for effort.

How is competency based training applied in the VET sector?

Vocational education works with industry grounded in the area of competency based training to develop the learner’s skills, knowledge and abilities in a flexible manner while they are working within a profession.

The Vocational Education and Training industry is based on competency based training.

“In a competency based training environment, which is centred on demonstrated competence against industry-defined standards of performance rather than strict course durations, students aren't required to study for a specified number of weeks or months.” - Australian Skills Quality Authority

How Ammonite's system helps with competency based training checks and balances

It's important that the providers that are writing training in the VET sector are focused on student learning and understanding and that the system used has measures in place for mapping and continuous improvement.

Mulder, Weigel & Collins (2007) note that specifying the competences to be acquired do not necessarily automatically result in the design of effective learning activities. The responsibility for translating training packages into teaching, learning and assessment strategies and programs clearly rests with providers.

Ammonite can help your training organisation address these checks and balances with:

  • Features in the system that track your continuous improvement to question
  • Mapping for courses
  • Reporting, statistics and tracking of data

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Australian Skills Quality Authority. (n.d.). Clauses 1.1 to 1.4 and 2.2-Implementing, monitoring and evaluating training and assessment strategies and practices. https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.1-to-1.4-2.2

Smith, E. (2010). A review of twenty years of competency‐based training in the Australian vocational education and training system. International journal of training and development, 14(1), 54-64.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2002). Defining and Assessing Learning: Exploring Competency-Based Initiatives, NCES 2002-159. Prepared by Jones, E., Voorhees, R., & Paulson, K., for the Council of the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative Working Group on Competency-Based Initiatives. Washington, DC.