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Home > Introduction: What is CBVET? > Definitions


Learning outcomes
In the European qualifications framework (EQF), learning outcomes are defined as statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process. Learning outcomes are defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competences (see CEDEFOP 2010, 22).

Competencies are the knowledge, skills, behaviours and qualifications that enable a person to perform a job role to the required standards.
The ability to perform the tasks and roles required to the expected standards (Eraut, 2003, 117).

Definition of the European Qualifications Framework
Competence means the proven ability to use knowledge, skills and personal, social and/or methodological abilities, in work or study situations and in professional and personal development. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, competence is described in terms of responsibility and autonomy (EQR, 2008).

Competencies and Skills – What is the difference?
The terms “Competencies” and “Skills” are often used interchangeably. For practical purposes a clear understanding of the difference is not always necessary. The following aspects, gained from different sources may, however, prove useful.


Definition of the European Qualifications Framework
Skills means the ability to apply knowledge and use know-how to complete tasks and solve problems. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, skills are described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) or practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments.


Competencies, therefore, may incorporate a skill, but are more than the skill, they include abilities and behaviours, as well as knowledge that is fundamental to the use of a skill.

Competencies are described in ways that are:

Competency or competence?
Dictionaries give basically the same definition for both words. (Both can be tracked down to Shakespeare.) In HR and education competency came to be more in use as it implies a closer relation to certain activities whereas competence is used in a more general way to evaluate a person.
Some authors consistently use ‘competency’ when referring to occupational competence or treat the two as synonymous. (Winterton et al. 2006, 30)