The logic of competence

This is a note introducing a series of posts setting out the logic of competence as I see it. I will link from here to other posts in the series as I write them.

This work as a whole is intended to feed in to several activities in which I have been taking part, including InLOC, eCOTOOL, ICOPER, MedBiquitous Competencies WG, Competence Structures for E-Portfolio Tools, and the CEN WS-LT Competency SIG, which had its 3rd Annual meeting in Berlin near the beginning of the series. It builds on and complements Rowin’s and my earlier paper, intending not to set out an academic case, which we did in that paper, but rather the detailed logic, that can be evaluated on its own terms, requiring reference only to common language and practice.

The first step is to express a working definition, and a logical basis for further discussion, which is that it is expressions like claims to competence, rather than competency definitions, that are logically prior. See № 1, “The basis of competence ideas”.

I will continue by considering (please click to go to the posts)

  1. how transferability gives a competence concept its logical identity
  2. how the analysis of just what a competence claim is claiming results in various possible structures for the competence-related concepts
  3. how to make sense of levels of competence
  4. how to make sense of criteria, conditions or context
  5. basic tree structuring of competence concepts
  6. desirable variants of tree structures (including more on levels)
  7. representing the commonality in different structures of competence
  8. other less precise cross-structure relationships
  9. definitions, and a map, of several of the major concepts used, together with logically related ones.

Continuing towards practical implementations:

  1. the requirements for implementing the logic of competence
  2. representing the interplay between concept definitions and structures
  3. representing structural relationships
  4. different ways of representing the same logic
  5. optional parts of competence
  6. the logic of National Occupational Standards
  7. the logic of competence assessability
  8. representing level relationships
  9. more and less specificity in competence definitions
  10. the logic of tourism as an analogy for competence
  11. The pragmatics of InLOC competence logic

I will try, where possible, to motivate and illustrate each point by reference to examples, drawn from existing published materials.

After all the parts have been published and discussed, I intend to put together a full paper (placement as yet undecided) incorporating and crediting ideas from other people — so please contribute these, ideally as comments on the posts themselves, or alternatively just to me.

Later addition, February 2011: I recognise that some of these posts are more than just bite sized. Are there some that you find too much of a mouthful to chew and/or swallow? Might that hold you back from commenting? If so, here is an offer: get in touch with me and I will talk you through any of this material you are interested in, while at the same time I will try to understand where you are coming from, and what is easier or harder for you to grasp. That will help me to express myself more clearly and simply, where I have not yet achieved clarity. I hope this will help!