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ASSESSING MASTERY OF COMPETENCIES

A key element of work-based learning is the assessment of competencies developed using this approach. Employers in Jobs to Careers partnered with community colleges and other education providers to develop ways to use work to help assess the mastery of competencies related to the learning objectives of a course. Developing assessment methods has proven critical to the provision of academic credit by education providers.

In addition to the sample materials in this section of the toolkit, see Coaching, Mentoring, and Supervisory Involvement for materials used to prepare supervisors and other experienced staff for coaching, mentoring, and preceptor roles. These were also used in Jobs to Careers to assess and document mastery of competencies.

 

RESOURCES

Checklists for Documenting Skills and Competencies 

Customer Service Checklist
Medical Assistant Skills Checklist
Medical Receptionist Skills Checklist

Core and Graduated Competencies Checklist
In Waianae, Hawaii, supervisors play a key role in documenting the skills and competencies of frontline workers. The employer collaborated with the education partner to develop a series of checklists for determining mastery of skills for jobs such as customer service representatives, medical assistants, and medical receptionists.

Checklists for Documenting Skills and Competencies

Diabetes and Advanced Nutrition
Training Patient Access Representative Skills Matrix
Austin Community College in Austin, Texas also developed skills checklists for hospital supervisors to document the achievement of competencies. Two examples are provided here for illustration: one is used for assessing mastery of clinical skills in working with diabetic patients. The “check off” for demonstrating competencies is cross-referenced with course objectives outlined by Austin Community College. The second example illustrates the skills and knowledge that must be demonstrated for certification as a patient access representative, a non-clinical position.

Documenting Skills and Competencies 

AFLTC Session Plan—Hand Washing
Jobs to Careers in Community-Based Care
In Oregon, Portland Community College, in cooperation with a consortium of assisted living facilities, created individual session plans and competency checklists for each of the major skill areas covered by the project’s “Resident Assistant” curriculum. The plan and checklist illustrate the variety of skills involved in assessing proper hand-washing techniques for resident assistants and health care coordinators in assisted living facilities. 

Checklist for Documenting Skills and Competencies

Checklist
In Boston, Massachussets, Bunker Hill Community College developed a checklist to document successful medical interpretation skills for trainees at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. These skills were part of the learning objectives for the Medical Interpretation college-credit course.

Mentors and Documenting Skills and Competencies 

DO-IT Cards
Mentor Guide
In Hartford, Connecticut, mentors helped certified nursing assistants master skills and knowledge related to the aging process, dementia, and other courses in the Jobs to Careers CNA Advancement Initiative. Working with mentors, participants fulfilled activities that were aligned with specific competencies listed on cards carried by the CNAs and returned to the mentor for assessment in the work process. The “DO-IT” method (Describing, Observing, Intervening, and Trying) draws on specific course assignments and activities, enabling mentors to assess students in “real time” teachable moments as they occur in the conduct of work.

Identifying Competencies

From Competencies to Curriculum: Building Career Paths for Frontline Workers in Behavioral Health
This report charts the experience of defining competencies for the behavioral health workforce, and its use in developing work-based curriculum and instruction. Competencies play a pivotal role in work-based learning initiatives, and their development is a key step in designing work-based learning training programs.