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Competency-based training

Apprenticeships are competency-based with an emphasis on the workplace application of knowledge and skills.

What is competency-based training? 

Competency-based training allows apprentices to move through their apprenticeship as they attain competencies rather than by serving time. 

When all the competencies outlined in their training plan have been achieved and all parties to the training plan agree, the apprentice can complete their apprenticeship.

What is competence?

Competence is the combination of knowledge, skills and attitude which leads to an individual being able to consistently perform a task to a given level. Developing competence to become a tradesperson is done through educational programs (trade school), experience (on-the-job training) and professional development. 

Competence is also about having employability, the ability to support the workplace through communication, teamwork, problem solving, self-management, planning and organising, technology, learning and taking initiative.

We can teach a skill, but we need to coach people to be competent. Competence is an outcome: it describes what someone can do. 

For an apprentice to be deemed competent

Under the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2008, approval of the completion of an apprenticeship is based on demonstration of competency. The requirements of the apprenticeship are considered to have been met when:

  • the apprentice has been assessed by the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) as competent to the required industry standard.
  • there is documentary evidence that the RTO has issued an appropriate qualification.
  • the employer has confirmed that the apprentice can demonstrate through their work performance that they have the skills specified in the training plan.
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