Competency Assessment vs Education and Training

What is the difference between education, training and competency assessment ?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

The requirements found in the Human Resources (HR or HRM) chapter of the accreditation manual found at HR.01.05.03 or HRM.01.05.01 (BHC)speak to both ‘education’ and ‘training’ that provide the foundation for competency. Education is the process of receiving systematic instruction resulting in the acquisition of theoretical knowledge.  Training differs from education in that ‘training’ focuses on gaining specific – often manually performed – technical skills.  

Competency requires a third attribute – ability. Ability is simply described as being able to ‘do something’. The ability to do something 'competently' is based on an individual’s capability to synthesize and correctly apply the knowledge and technical skills to a task.

Competency (see HR.01.06.01) differs from education and training in that competency incorporates all three attributes:  Knowledge, technical skills, and ability - all are required to deliver safe care, correctly perform technical tasks, etc. Assessing competency, then, is the process by which the organization validates, via a defined process, that an individual has the ability to perform a task, consistent with the education and training provided. 

Additional Resources:
FAQ: Competency Assessment vs Orientation
Last updated on August 11, 2020
Manual: Ambulatory
Chapter: Human Resources HR

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