Features of competency-based assessment

Assessment is defined as the the process of collecting evidence and making judgements about whether competency has been achieved to confirm that an individual can perform to the standard expected in the workplace as expressed in the relevant endorsed competency standards of a Training Package or accredited course. (Reference: Standards for RTOs 2015, Glossary)

The features of competency-based assessment include:

  • Criteria-based
  • Evidence-based
  • Binary judgement
  • Participatory process
  • Choice of assessment pathway.


Competency-based assessment means that assessment results will be based on criteria specified by competency standards.


Competency-based assessment means that assessment result will be based on evidence that demonstrate competence.

Binary judgement

A key feature of competency-based assessment is that the outcome is reported as ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’. It is a binary judgement, rather than grading on a scale


Competent means a candidate is able to perform a task to the standard expected in the workplace.

Not yet competent

Not yet competent means the candidate is not yet able to perform a task to the standard expected in the workplace.

Participatory process

Competency-based assessment will require the candidate and assessor to work together. The assessor and candidate can discuss and negotiate the location, timing or type of assessment tasks.

The assessor will need to consider the ways in which the candidate can be an active participant, rather than a passive participant. The candidate must be a willing and active contributor to the assessment process. Without their participation there can be no assessment.

Choice of assessment pathway

The candidate has a choice of difference assessment pathways to demonstrate their competence. The two pathways are:

  • Training and assessment pathway
  • Assessment-only pathway.

If you would like more information about competency-based assessment, please see my article titled, How to determine the requirements for competency-based assessment.

People studying for their TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification may find further useful information on this website. Tap or click on the following ABC logo to find out more.

ABC logo

Are you an RTO, and do you want to purchase quality training and assessment resources for delivering the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification?

Contact now!

logo otws

Training trainers since 1986