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Practical skills assessment for online students

All accredited courses and subjects, called Units of Competency (UoC), have requirements that can use formal language to describe how students need to be assessed to be deemed competent and ready to work in the job outcome for the course.

We've broken down some of the formal language here, so that when you see it in your online studies, you will know what it means.

A Unit of Competency describes the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to be an effective worker at a particular level. It also covers the expansive roles, tasks and responsibilities a worker must fulfil for all aspects of work at different levels.

Competency Based Training is the process necessary to achieve the competence required in a qualification. Assessment is a process which shows that an individual is competent (i.e. has the skills, knowledge and attitudes) to work at a particular level in an industry.

Competency Based Training and Assessment can take place in a variety of settings: in the work place, in a simulated work environment, in a training room, through study (including online) or a combination of on the job training and off the job training.

It also takes into account a learner or worker’s existing level of competency, whether achieved in the work place, through life experiences, through other courses, workshops, training or by any other means.

Competency Based Assessment is criterion based. This means that learners are not assessed in competition with each other, but against standard criteria or benchmarks. It is also evidence based, so decisions about your competence are based on the evidence you provide or demonstrate.

As all competencies are based on industry requirements, students and/or workers are assessed on all aspects of the job. Below are some examples of the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to be a competent worker.


  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Report writing
  • Project work
  • Physical e.g. CPR
  • Technical skills e.g. computer/keyboard skills
  • Research
  • Organisation


  • Philosophies
  • Policy & Procedures
  • Legislation
  • Models of service provision
  • Historical framework
  • Resources
  • Cultural awareness
  • Specialised knowledge eg Alcohol and other drugs work, Mental Health, Youth etc


  • Professional conduct
  • Ethics/morals
  • Codes of conduct
  • Attributes
  • Dress code
  • Boundaries
  • Appropriate language
  • Respect
  • Appropriate disclosure
  • Confidentiality

As you can see from the above list, there are a lot of different areas under these three sub-headings upon which you might be assessed.