10 July 2012

Stages in Competency

Just read about the 4 stages in competence that applies to learning and measuring competencies in new skills. It’s always good to know where one stands for each competency.

From the lowest to the highest, they are:


Unconscious Incompetence

  • Individual does not know the required skill/ competence exists, let along the relevance of it.
  • Individual is incompetence and does not know it
  • Call this individual ignorant, clueless
  • To do: Need guidance to identify deficits
  • “Don’t know what you don’t know”


Conscious Incompetence

  • Individual recognises deficit in competency/ skill but is not addressing it/ not able to address it
  • Appreciates the value of the competency/ skill
  • Call this individual a beginner, a learner
  • To do: Offer vast sources of learning resources and even training. Also allow for mistakes.
  • “Know what you don’t know”


Conscious Competence

  • Individual is able to demonstrate basic competency when required and at will
  • Takes conscious effort/ concentration to demonstrate competency/ skill
  • Call this individual an apprentice, a novice
  • To do: Offer step-by-step guidelines, reminders and directed sources of information
  • “Know what you know but requires exertion”


Unconscious Competence

  • The highest cognitive level where the competency/ skill is “second-nature” or automatic to the individual
  • Competency/ skill can be performed easily due to much practice
  • Individual may even be able to multi-task where performing the skill
  • Individual has achieved mastery
  • Call this individual an expert, a master
  • To do: Having reached a mastery level, have the individual teach/ impart the competency/ skill
  • “Mastered what you know”

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