Competency standards are often used as the fundamental part of a competency based training system. Competency standards are a description of the performance required in a work situation, with the knowledge needed to support that activity, in a context or range of situations.
In the European Qualifications Framework context competency standards can be used to define learning outcomes. This means that competency standards can be used to support work based training and qualifications at a particular level of activity.
The emphasis on the outcomes of learning, the end result, is a big change from the traditional approach to training that emphasized inputs, for example the number of training hours.
Competency standards are normally written as general statements sufficient to describe the activity. The detail is in other documents, training manuals, assessment guidance and other reference material.
The main benefits of competency standards are to:
support a better match between the needs of the labour market and education and training provision;
facilitate the validation of practical experience and informal learning as well as formal training;
help the transparency of qualifications across different countries training systems.
EuroFire Competency Standards
The EuroFire Level 2 competency standards have been written as a series of 6 units. Due to the large number of different organisations involved in wildfire and prescribed fire management at this basic level in Europe it was not possible to relate the standards to identifiable job roles. A different approach was chosen.
The EuroFire standards have been focused instead on the typical tasks, techniques and tools that can be identified at Level 2, the basic level. As such they should have more general applicability across Europe.
The structure of the standards is to split the overall subject into units. Each unit should take between 20 – 40 guided learning hours to acquire the necessary learning. Units are further split down into elements and each element has three parts: what you must do,
The 6 competency standards are:
EF1 Ensure that your actions in the vegetation fire workplace reduce the risks to
yourself and others.
EF2 Apply techniques and tactics to control vegetation fire.
EF3 Communicate within a team and with supervisors at vegetation fires.