To differentiate your business in your marketplace, offer a Certificate of Competence.
Of the programs and packages you offer, one or more can be written in competency-based language suitable for verification and certification.
- Competency is a statement starting with an action verb followed by the intended outcome of taking the stated action.
- Verification is the process of confirming competence against the competency.
- Competency verification is the process that leads to awarding a Certificate of Competence.
In addition to competency, there are three additional words that guide and sustain a “Competence Verification for Certification” approach. They are capabilities, continuance, and capacity.
Connecting Four Words
The four words are the four rungs of a ladder or the four elements of a free form, dynamic visual. Both examples are shown below:
The ladder metaphor suggests a mechanistic, step-by-step connection whereas the free flowing image suggests an organic, interweaving connection. Depending on your preference and the situation, both are useful.
Here is a description and explanation of the four words in connection to awarding YOUR Competence Verification for Certification. The article leans into concepts and practices best read and digested, than scanned and taste-tested.
Capabilities highlight the achievements, skills and talents a person currently possesses. These capabilities indicate the potential a person offers when matched with YOUR program/package profile competencies. Herein, program/package profile is profile.
Because of a person’s capabilities, s/he can apply personal learning and actions to a situation. Capabilities denote an inside-out conversation between the person and YOU (the profile-keeper/verifier/certifier).
Capabilities highlight the person’s fit with the competency profile. The degree of fit is determined by the person’s self-assessment of the competency statements. The results of the self-assessment follow the person until s/he applies for competence verification for her/his chosen level of certification.
The submission of the assessment indicates the person’s knowledge, skill and attitude alignment with the competency statements. It identifies what the person requires and requests of YOU. And reminds registrants what they bring to the competence verification process.
Competencies, on the other hand, are statements that identify what YOU require and request of the registrant applying for certification.
The competency statements are grouped into a competency profile. It conveys the level of certification offered by YOUR business. You can award a certificate of (1) attendance completion, (2) assignment achievement and/or (3) verified competence. The thread of this article focuses on verified competence.
The profile frames what is “legally and reasonably” required for a person to know and do to receive a verified Certificate of Competence. It is YOUR accountability to ensure access to the competence verification process offered through your business.
In addition, YOU manage access to education material to support the learning and action whether via your business and/or external organizations. That is, you provide some/all of the education and/or you acknowledge external educators aligned with your profile. Working with external educators is a great way to establish strategic alliances and access potential verifiers.
The phrase “the person is competent” is acknowledged when the assigned verifier confirms the competence of person against the competencies. That is the person’s capabilities match the profile competencies.
For the person receiving verification of competence it’s an outside-in conversation with YOU.
From YOUR perspective, you’ve stated what you require and request of the participant. And you state the resources you supply to the registrant to gain the level of certification for which they’ve applied.
Here is an adaption of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s writings on Flow linking capabilities and competencies:
- When capabilities are more than the competencies = boredom
- When competencies are more than the capabilities = anxiousness
- When capabilities and competencies align in dynamic balance = flow
Continuance is the requirement of time you assign a competency to counter the person’s forgetfulness and/or to identify the amount of time that can elapse between the person’s learning and verified action.
Also, the assigned timelines of profile competencies are influenced by external policies and/or regulations. These external influences identify the societal standards and practices linked to the profile. They indicate the influencers’ best judgment of the amount of time that can elapse between learning and verified competence. Their list of continuance markers highlights the ethical boundaries between the marketplace and YOUR corporate social/legal responsibility.
Continuance is a double-edged sword. On one side, continuance is a benefit while on the other side, it’s a cost. As a benefit for YOU, it ensures a reoccurring conversation with registrants to maintain their certification. It’s revenue for you and peace of mind they remain verified competent for their needs according to YOUR practices and standards.
As a cost, it is continued payment by the participant to remain verified. What is the value of their certification over time? What is the cost of their effort to remain certified?
This continuance factor requires YOU stay on point to ensure the profile is current and the participants are made aware of the profile edits and/or their need to recertify. Therefore, you have to manage the profile for the long-term. What does long-term mean to your business?
Capacity is the about the participants’ readiness, abilities and willingness to perform at a level consistent with the certification for which they’re verified.
Just as capacity is YOUR readiness, abilities and willingness to improve, focus, and strengthen your Competence Verification for Certification system and processes.
That is, the left bar supporting the four rungs of ladder shown above is about YOU. The right bar is about the person(s) YOU verify competent.
To be clear, the verification of competence is a multi-event process as evident by the requirement of continuance and the commitment of your registrants. YOU and your registrants must remain actively involved in the verification for certification process for it to have meaning to the person, your business and the recipients of those affected by the person holding YOUR certification.
The caveat of closure for the registrants acknowledges their non-renewal of certification. At this point YOU do not deem the person competent and you’re not legally linked to the person.
For YOU, the caveat of closure is your notification and the registrants’ acknowledgement of the discontinuance of the certification. Therefore, you must exit in full view and with due diligence with your registrants. To do otherwise, may result in legal issues.
Connecting the Four Terms
The inter-exchange of capability, competency, compliance and capacity for the purpose of awarding a certificate of competence by verification serves as a springboard to realize disciplined risk mitigation from legal, financial, and people perspectives.
The legal perspective has been highlighted throughout the article. Follow due diligence to the verification process in establishment, maintenance and exit and you have done what is reasonable. However, a conversation with legal counsel is recommended. This document does not serve as legal guidance.
From the financial perspective, the person has invested in their certification from YOU. Therefore, appropriate financial controls and guarantees are required to ensure the person is treated fairly and respectfully during their engagement. Competence Verification for Certification is a commitment to quality service and experience with your registrants.
At its core, the Competence Verification for Certification process YOU manage focuses on your evolvement of your registrants. They enter the process based on self-assessment. They remain because of their experience of YOU and the process. And they exit, based on their decision of non-renewal.
YOU are a guide on their ride in their words, on their terms.