Reconciling activity-based descriptions of competence with professional work

  • Stan Lester
  • Higher Education Skills and Work-based Learning, September 2017, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/heswbl-07-2017-0042

Competence and professional work

What is it about?

There is some scepticism about whether the idea of 'competence' - particularly competence in work tasks and functions - is useful for describing complex, high level professional work. The paper, partly based on a recent European project (ComProCom), proposes a way of describing competence that (it is argued) is more relevant to high-level activities.

Why is it important?

The idea of 'competence' has become important in many countries for setting standards for professions and informing vocational education. If this is to be done in a way that is workable and effective, improved models of competence are needed. This paper outlines one such model.


Dr Stan Lester

This paper builds on my earlier work with mainly British professions, published in 2014-15, refined through an Erasmus+ project with partners from Austria, Germany, Greece, Ireland and Poland. It was also influenced by my presentation and subsequent discussion at the UALL work-based learning conference in 2016.

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