Competency Based Training Model Explained

Today, we have another rousing episode of attack of the buzzwords. Oh how I hate buzzwords. They waste your time and mine, because they require you to listen to me babble on about something you already knew, just so you know the buzzword means this common, unoriginal concept. Well, this time it’s the competency based training model.

But Wait, There’s More:

This is a double whammy actually, as competency is a bloody buzzword itself. What’s a competency? It just means a skill and knowledge set that an employee has which can expedite a job, part of a job and the like. Basically, it’s an capability an employee has that is useful.

Yeah, that really is all it means, and no for the life of me I don’t know why it needed to be randomly also called a competency. Oh the word fits but it’s not necessary!

So, the competency based training model is a big buzzword term, because of all that competency actually means in this ancient context.

What I Mean:

So, if you remember that a competency is the capability and skill of an employee to perform a task which finishes a job or contributes to an overarching goal, what does training based on this mean?

Absolutely nothing!

Ok, Maybe not Quite Nothing:

Well, it really means training where you focus on getting a set of abilities instilled in employees, and making that the prime directive. Well, honestly, this is any kind of training because ultimately, that’s the goal. You want your employees to learn and master skills which allow them to perform their jobs or achieve a collective goal better,

So really, there’s no specific model for this, because almost any training model qualifies for this name. It makes sense once you step back and really look at all of that, doesn’t it?

Anything at All:

Well, I suppose there’s a little to be said for considering “competencies” in a new light when doing needs assessment and planning your training methodologies and philosophies as it were.

Looking at individual strengths and weaknesses, finding how they counterbalance among the employees, and finding out who needs to learn what before you get too far into it are probably a good idea.

Seeing these counterbalancing abilities is also good for planning organizational learning approaches wherein the employees help train one another based on who already is keen with what to begin with.

No Models:

Yeah, there’s no model that really enforces that kind of look at employee capabilities, because you can’t base a model on that. It’s an aspect not a philosophy or mindset itself. So, if you’ve looked and looked for a model for this, you’ve spun your wheels.

Taking Away:

What we can take away from this is at least looking at the real meaning of this term, and getting reminded, by proxy, how important employee skills actually are.

So, this isn’t all for not, at least.


Well, there isn’t a competency based training model, as far as anyone can determine. I’d like to see what a model based around such a basic and obvious part of training and employee capacity would look like.


Jason Silberman
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog
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