Competence Verification to Gain a Business Edge

Written by Stephen Hobbs

Emphasis: competence verification

Use Competence Verification to Gain a Business Edge In Your Marketplace

competence verificationWhat’s your business edge … Your singular-ness that has people purchase your offers and packages when all around them is sales noise?

Your edge is found in the phrase “clarity from consistency.” That is, when you consistently detail what a new or existing customer will receive from their involvement with you, you clarify the outcomes they’ll actualize because of the action they’ve taken.

Yes – you give them a path map to follow to success. And when the map is based on competencies = bonus!
More so, if the person is verified competent against the competencies you move into a stratosphere of differentiation.

Forewarning: There are many “What If” scenarios associated with competencies and verification. To keep this article length within reason, one primary thread is offered. That is, the story line of verifying competence to award a certificate of competence.

What is a Competency?

A competency is a statement that starts with a measurable action verb and indicates the outcome of taking said action. This example illustrates this definition.

Demonstrate ethical decision-making

Action verb is to “demonstrate.”
The outcome of the demonstration is “ethical decision making.”
The measureable aspect of the statement is the Yes or No response to the question, “Are you competent to demonstrate ethical decision-making?”

Each competency statement has sub-competency statements grouped as concept and practice. Concept is about knowledge and practice is about skills. Continuing with the competency above (for purpose of illustration only):

Demonstrate ethical decision-making


  • Define ethics/ethical; Define decision; Define decision-making; Define ethical decision-making
  • Identify examples of ethical decision making with your employees; Identify examples of ethical decision making with your customers
  • Identify ethical values; Identify ethically neutral values


  • Discuss the importance of ethical decision-making
  • Discuss when and where you made an ethical decision; Discuss the improvements you made to your decision making approach
  • Evaluate ethical decision making processes/tools
  • Demonstrate ethical decision-making

The action verb selection follows Bloom’s Taxonomical Definitions for cognitive (thinking), affective (feeling) and psycho-motor (doing) domains. Various handouts listing competency verbs are available online using a search term like “Bloom competency verb.”

competence verificationCompetence Verification

From the measurable perspective, when the person answers Yes to the competence question – for all listed competencies (called a profile) – she/he can move to verification.

Verification is the process of confirming a person’s proficient performance of the stated outcomes of the competency statements (in the certification | award profile).

When the person answers No to the competence question, it means one or more the concepts and/or practices require education and experience. Once the education and experience is completed, the person could respond Yes to the competence question and move to verification.

Linking Competency and Customers

Competency statements define what you require and request from your customers. And identifies what you’ll supply in support of your customers’ education and verification. Therefore, competencies guide your customers to what they need to know, do and be like in their interactions with you to receive their award/reward after successful verification of the stated program/package competencies.

The opposite is true as well. The customer receives clarification on the requirements and requests they have of you, the profile keeper/verifier. And thereby, they can determine what they bring to their involvement in the program/package.

Livingness of Competency Statements

Competencies are dynamic and dependent on the situation (program/package) for which the competencies were written. Therefore, there is ‘livingness’ associated with them.

This livingness requires ongoing attention to competency usefulness and applicability. Therefore, you must remain “current” in the stated competencies whether existing and new.

Also your marketplace and external regulatory bodies can influence edits (what to add, alter, delete) of your profile competencies. Old competencies are eliminated, current competencies are updated and new competencies are added. That is, your program/package competency profile is under constant review to remain current.

While there are generic sets of competencies, there are variations of your competencies from program to program, package to package. Just as there are variations associated with your customers’ application and location (e.g., North America versus Asia) to name a few variables.

Therefore, your writing and use of competencies varies according to socio-cultural, technological, environmental, economic and political considerations within your business and external to your business.

competence verificationIn closing

Your customers seek challenge, control and competence to name a few of the human drives. People vary in the degree of satisfying these human drives, just as they vary in the selection of places to access the answers to their questions and resources.

When you place your programs and packages in the path of your customers, using competence verification for certification, you are differentiating yourself in the noisy marketplace.

And in doing so, you are sharing a customer story of singular-ness. You are gaining a business edge by satisfying your customers’ needs and wants through “clarity from consistency” via “competence verification.”