assessment of competence

the measurement of an employee’s performance against an agreed set of standards for work-based activities. In the United Kingdom, assessment of competence is generally made against indicators of the successful achievement of a particular job function. There are four dimensions to assessment: the knowledge and understanding required to carry out a task; the performance indicators to be looked for; the scope or range of situations across which an employee is expected to perform; and any particular evidence requirements. Vocational qualifications for a wide range of jobs in the United Kingdom are based on a set of occupational standards that contain these elements. A wide variety of techniques or instruments exists to assess competence. These include specific work-based ability and aptitude tests, as well as traditional methods of performance appraisal and evaluation. Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in the use of direct observation at work by trained assessors, the collection of personal portfolios, and peer assessment techniques such as 360 degree appraisal. All require the careful review of work behavior against a set of indicators that have been clearly shown to be associated with successful performance.

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