What is competence development?

Competence development is the process of developing of one or more competencies, which happens through a learning and development process. The development of competences takes place through various forms of learning, both in a work environment and in private life.

What are competencies?

a multitasking man as symbol for competence development

To grasp what competence development is, one must first understand what competencies actually are.

The word competence can be derived from the Latin = “competentia” and “competere”, which means “suitability” and “to be sufficient, to coincide, to be capable of something”.

Accordingly, competencies are understood to be the cognitive abilities and skills, as well as the level of knowledge that an individual possesses in order to be able to practically master a specific problem. Competencies can be learned and thus promoted.

The 4 core competencies of competence development

In the field of vocational education, competence development is based on four forms of core competence:

  • Self-competence

Essential characteristics of self-competence are the ability to reflect, the ability to criticize, determination, self-confidence, flexibility, reliability, sense of duty and responsibility, and independence. Self-competence is therefore the ability to recognize where one wants to go and how one can proactively achieve this goal.

  • Social competence

Social competence means above all the teamwork skills. The competence to work constructively with each other within a team. Soft skills such as empathy and willingness to compromise are essential here.

  • Expertise

Professional competence is understood to mean, on the one hand, having the necessary level of knowledge and, on the other hand, the willingness to apply this knowledge in order to cope with challenging situations in a company.

  • Methodological competence

Methodological competence means the ability and willingness to acquire specialist knowledge. That is, to obtain the necessary information, to prepare it in order to be able to solve various problems.

ability to learn in wodden letters

The advantages of competence development

With a fast-paced, digitized world in constant flux, skills development is essential. The advantages for the employee are obvious:

  • Employees will enjoy what they do. It is only through continuous training that it is possible to become and remain a subject matter expert in a particular field.
  • Competence development also means improved self-organization. Employees acquire knowledge themselves by obtaining information.
  • Competence development leads to increased satisfaction among employees. If they are deployed according to their expertise, skills and abilities, this means appreciation. The result: satisfied employees work more effectively and are more motivated.

But skills development also has clear benefits for employers:

  • The focus is clearly on employee retention – the fact that employees can develop according to their abilities clearly increases employee satisfaction and subsequently employee retention.
  • It also drives leadership development. It also allows key players to be identified.
  • In employee reviews, target agreements can be documented so that employees can develop according to their specific skills and abilities.

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