ComProCom: a revised model of occupational competence

  • Stan Lester, Anna Koniotaki, Jolanta Religa
  • Education + Training, April 2018, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/et-01-2018-0024

A revised approach to occupational competence

What is it about?

This paper describes a revised approach to describing occupational and professional competence, drawing on research with British professions and testing through a project involving five further European countries. A model is put forward that is based on: - a cycle of activity (assess, plan, do, review) to describe the primary work of the occupation - transversal activities (such as organising and managing, ongoing development, and communication/working with others) that support the work of the occupation - ethos, ethics and judgement.

Why is it important?

The model presented in the paper bridges between functional models of competence developed in the UK and promoted in Europe at the beginning of the century, and more sophisticated understandings of professional and knowledge work. It also offers a common language of 'competence' that has potential to be used internationally.


Dr Stan Lester

I have worked with ideas of occupational competence since the beginning of the 1990s, and became increasingly sceptical of both the British occupational standards/NVQ model and the behavioural competency tradition as being too narrow to represent what professional practitioners and knowledge workers actually need to be able to do. After revisiting competence statements in the context of professional practising standards a decade later, I helped develop some models that seemed to be much more valid and effective. My research on professional standards indicated that by 2012 some common characteristics had emerged among practising standards developed by self-governing professions. The project ComProCom, on which the article is based, was developed in conjunction with my co-authors and additional partners to test these characteristics in different countries and outside formal professions.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Stan Lester