Competency based training is a critical element of a successful organizational strategy to train, evaluate, and improve employee happiness and performance. By implementing a competency based training program, businesses can ensure that their employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their job roles effectively. This can lead to improved productivity, reduced errors, and improved customer satisfaction, among other benefits.

The advantages of competency based training include improved productivity, improved quality of work, reduced errors, improved customer satisfaction, and increased employee satisfaction and engagement. This type of training helps you identify the exact areas where employees need improvement, and where they excel.

There are however limitations of competency based training include the potential for bias in the assessment process, the possibility of focusing too much on technical skills, and the need for ongoing evaluation and development.

Key Components and Competencies

The key components of competency based training include the following:

  • identifying the competencies required for each job role
  • developing competency standards and assessment criteria
  • evaluating employee performance
  • providing training and development opportunities
  • continuously monitoring and assessing employee performance

Incorporating these components in a competency based training program provides a consistent and comprehensive method for ensuring your employees have the necessary skills and understanding of the jobs they are performing.

A competency-based program should address the following basic competencies:

  • cognitive (thinking and problem solving)
  • functional (technical or job-specific)
  • interpersonal (communication and collaboration)
  • behavioral (attitudes and work habits)

Addressing these competencies produces a well-rounded employee. Of course, employees should be competent in the task they were hired to perform, but if they cannot communicate effectively or have a bad attitude or work ethic, are they the best employee they can be?

Competency Based Training at Submar

At Submar, competency based training is conducted through multiple processes. They include, on-the-job training, formal operator qualifications, and computer based training through our learning management system (LMS).

On the job training is provided by assigning newly promoted or newly hired employees to mentors. These mentors have years of work experience in the field and in Submar specific processes. Mentors are one of the best ways to evaluate an employee’s functional, interpersonal and behavioral competencies.

Operator Qualifications are used by Submar and other companies to verify cognitive and functional competencies of workers. Operator qualifications are written guidelines and requirements that operators must follow to ensure the safe and responsible operation of pipelines.

Submar also has a robust LMS that includes computer-based training to gauge various competencies of its employees. These computer based trainings include presentations on specific topics along with testing to verify an employee’s understanding of that topic. Testing results are analyzed and deficiencies are noted, with repeat or refresher training provided to those who require the extra attention.


In summary, competency based training is a training approach that identifies a person’s strengths and shortcomings and focuses on bridging the gaps in their competency to complete a task.

You eliminate the need to provide tedious training on topics employees have already mastered, and instead focus on the specific areas where they need improvement. This helps motivate employees to improve their skills, without overwhelming them with information and training they already know.

In any competency based training example, you identify where your employee falls short of completing a task up to your standards, and then provide them with in-depth training and refresher courses as needed to ensure improved productivity and overall job satisfaction.

Competency based training will require the assessor to be unbiased and not set unrealistic expectations. Keep an open mind when assessing employees and always ensure that feedback is constructive.

Based on the following article with restructured content and additional thoughts from Brian Ledet, Safety Manager, Submar, LLC.