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What is competence?

What is competence?

In most of the definitions of competence it will explain that for someone to be competent they must have ‘the ability to perform activities to a required standard, using appropriate knowledge, skill and attitude’.  In order to show a competent knowledge in digital electronics it is true that an element of all three of these aspects should be present.

But how can I improve my competence?  It is not only about increasing knowledge but also improving my understanding of how the knowledge can be applied, my skill in applying it and also my attitude in applying it correctly.

To break it down, knowledge could be considered the main principles or theory of a process or procedure.  For example if I am looking at a faulty circuit I should know what tests to perform on it to find the fault.

The skill could come from being able to collaborate these test results or being able to recognise immediately that a component is damaged, in the wrong place etc and then have the skill to be able to apply modifications.  It is having the skill and being able to apply it that demonstrates competence.

Attitude for this example may come from assessing whether it is safe to carry out the tests on the circuit, making sure others carrying out the testing procedure do so in a safe manner or reviewing the procedure itself and adding or eliminating steps to enhance safety and efficiency.

General competence is made up of competencies in different areas, to define what I need to do within this project I need to consider what I need to be competent to do, the knowledge, skills and attitude that will make up that competence, the level I need to be at to demonstrate adequate competence (the audit states design BASIC digital circuits), and what actions I can do to prove this.

Looking at this project in a methodical manner, I first need to get a general understanding of digital electronics, this will enable me to consider what knowledge and skills I will need to have to develop and demonstrate the competence.  From this point I can decide at what level I will need to get too to be able to demonstrate adequate competence and also what practical things I can do which will help show that I am indeed at the required level.

The first thing to do is simply to look at digital electronics and find out what makes up this subject, how it can be used and what defines it.  From doing this I should be able to do experiments of my own once I have a better general knowledge and therefore be able to portray a level of skilled competence in application and demonstration.

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