Assessing 'competence': Definitions, challenges and strategies

Assessing 'competence': Definitions, challenges and strategies woman attending webinar
Date: Dates to be confirmed Venue: Online
Time: 12:30 - 14:00
Type: Workshop series Fee: £265 (Members - £238.50)

Join Cambridge Assessment Network as a member and get 10% discount on all courses.

Register your interest

This workshop is accredited for continuing professional development (4.5 CPD hours), with certification post attendance.

Assessing competence and skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration are high on the agenda for educators, employers, and policymakers looking to reimagine an education system fit for the future.

This interactive series of three workshops is designed for anyone who wants to understand the key issues underpinning valid assessments of competence and is ideal for practitioners who are looking to embed 'competence', 'competencies' or '21st century skills' into their teaching, learning or assessment approaches.

Assessment professionals and educators must keep up to date with the latest thinking on key concepts and good practices developed in different education systems to ensure that their teaching and assessment materials remain ‘fit for purpose’ and continue to reflect the requirements of our rapidly changing world.”
Dr Rebecca Conway, Educational Assessment Consultant and course trainer

Workshop dates

Week 1 TBC | 12:30 - 14:00 (UK time) Title:  Workshop 1
Week 2 TBC | 12:30 - 14:00 (UK time) Title:  Workshop 2
Week 3 TBC | 12:30 - 14:00 (UK time) Title:  Workshop 3

Course outline

This series of three workshops will introduce the concept of ‘competence’ as it is used in education and explore some of the approaches to assessing it.

  • Workshop 1 – We will explore how ‘competence’ is defined and its relationship to twenty-first century and transversal skills. We will consider its use in education and how effective ‘competence frameworks’ can be constructed.
  • Workshop 2 – We will consider the validity, reliability and fairness challenges that assessing competence can bring and explore these through case studies.
  • Workshop 3 – We will explore different approaches that can be used to assess competence with a particular focus on assessment design, marking, grading and quality assurance. We will wrap up our three-week programme through a consideration of some common features found in current approaches to competence assessment and a summary of the key challenges to navigate.

Key learning outcomes

By the end of the three sessions you will have:

  • Gained an understanding of how competence is defined in the context of educational assessment
  • onsidered how competence frameworks can be effectively developed to support valid and reliable assessment
  • Explored a range of different approaches to assessing ‘competence’ and 21st century skills, drawing upon real world examples to consider what might work in your own practice
  • Understood the issues related to validity, reliability, fairness and practicality in assessments that seek to assess competence
  • Considered some common features of current approaches to competence assessment and key challenges to navigate.

Course trainer

Rebecca Conway Dr Rebecca Conway is an education and assessment specialist with extensive experience of delivering international education projects and working within the UK regulatory and qualification reform contexts.

She has particular expertise in assessment design, delivery and evaluation gained through her work at two awarding organisations and as a freelance assessment consultant and trainer. Rebecca holds a master’s degree from Cambridge in assessment practice and has tutored and led workshops on assessment and regulatory matters for education professionals across the UK and internationally.

She is currently working with the Cambridge Assessment Network to develop and deliver training programmes on assessment theory and good practice for teachers.


Girl working at a laptop

Build and develop your practice

Focusing on an important element of assessment design and practice, our assessment practitioner workshops are short, sharp sessions designed to fit seamlessly around your work commitments.

Read more and book

Contact the Network

Please contact us for further information about the Network events and bespoke training.