Competency-based training, or CBT, is an ideal method for training individuals that focuses on actual on-the-job skills. It is a very structured method and the goal is to train someone for a particular field or profession.
The method is called competency-based training because it teaches competence as a particular skill. Being successful in a trade begins with a solid foundation of understanding how tasks are completed and what the process is. Competency-based training can be used in virtually any type of business, not just for trade skills.
Competency-based training can be the perfect way to hone skills through one-on-one teaching or even in group classes, both for potential and current employees. There are many benefits of this specialized training.
The Learning Curve
Unlike a general education class, competency-based training focuses on specific strategies and critical thinking skills needed to master a particular trade. This means by default that this style of training is more difficult, taxing, and can be frustrating if one is not prepared. The learning curve is faster and requires people to be able to move at a quicker pace, but can result in employees learning important applicable skills in a much shorter period of time.
A Growing Popularity
Competency-based training is becoming increasingly popular as organizations begin implementing this style of training in order to maximize results. There have been very positive results in studies that show the effectiveness of competency-based training. Some employees were performing at 10 and even 20 times their previous levels after receiving a specialized education through competency-based training.
By helping an individual reach their highest potential, it both maximizes their output and their effectiveness, which means every dollar spent on training is well worth it in the long run.
CBT is Useful to the Organization
Instead of a vague training plan, CBT enforces training that is beneficial to the company’s goals:
- Corporate training becomes cost-effective, productive, and goal-oriented
- Performance assessments make tracking of the training and individuals integral to the system
- Enables cross-training and employee mobility, making your workforce more versatile
- Improves communication between management and staff
- Gives employees a clear path for improvement and promotion
- Reduces costs caused by poorly-trained employees
CBT Lasts Longer
One of the primary benefits of competency-based training is the fact that once an individual goes through it, their knowledge will generally outlast a particular job and is useful for far longer than just training for that job would have been. Competency-based training teaches skills that last forever. The skills can be built upon and modified with updated training.
Success Can Be Replicated
Part of the reason companies that implement CBT see so much success is due to its self-replicating nature. Once one person is taught, they now have the ability to teach someone else the same skills.
Some people think that those who are successful are just lucky, or were born into the right circumstances. But with competency-based training, it is possible to identify characteristics of highly successful people and include them in a formula that can be taught in a rigorous CBT course.
Success can be taught and competency-based training is the most effective way to do that. This makes CBT an ideal method for training employees who will be able to reuse this training later on down the road.
The Benefit of Building On Existing Skills
When competency-based training is done right, companies see benefits ranging from lower staff turnover to increased productivity. CBT gives companies the ability to identify and target gaps in the training being offered to employees without having to retrain them entirely.
The ultimate goal is to improve a company’s performance while training a worker to have a skill that will be valuable for the rest of their life. Other methods teach surface level tasks without getting to the how and why. This is what really sets CBT apart and gives employees the ability to recognize where their own training has fallen short and how it can be improved.
It takes a significant amount of willpower and dedication (as well as a competent trainer) to implement competency-based training, especially if it’s a new concept. But CBT is designed in such a way that even if you are unfamiliar with it, you can still benefit from the way its targeted learning style builds on existing skills and improves them, much like a blade can be sharpened on a grindstone. A skill must also be honed and sharpened, and advanced learning tactics like those taught with competency-based training are the best way to do it.