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Traditional vs competency-based training and assessment

In a traditional educational system, the training is centered on subject contents and the delivery of instruction is time-based and teacher-centered.

The course contents are based on defined training objectives and an assumed homogenous level of knowledge from the participants, whose entry competencies are seldom evaluated before attending the training program. This kind of training program gives little chance to address individual’s needs.

In a Competency-Based Training and Assessment (CBTA) program, the delivery is based on training needs to perform defined tasks, and it is learner centered.

  • The first step in a CBTA program is the analysis of the training needs by identifying the gap between existing competencies and required competencies to fulfill defined tasks to a defined standard (quality and performance standards).
  • The training process requires an entry assessment of the individuals who will participate in the program, and the minimum requirements that have to be met.
  • The next step will be the development of the training method needed to fill the competency gaps in terms of knowledge, skills and attitude (KSA).

How can CBTA be implemented?

The Instructional Systems Design (ISD) course development methodology is used to develop CBTA. ISD uses a systematic approach to training development, it includes quality assurance that supports compliance with requirements and the adequate development of training activities.

If a training system is already in place, an evaluation has to be performed to establish how much that system already fulfills the CBTA requirements, and which items have to be improved or developed to meet the complete CBTA requirements.

IATA's Guidance Material and Best Practices for the Implementation of Competency-Based Training in Maintenance is available to help you develop a CBTA program for your organization.