LEVEL5 Competence Taxonomy

The increasing level of control (management) over a particular competence can also be called a ’competence level’. This implies that a ‘competence’ is a dynamic concept – competences grow while learning. The question on how to measure and document different competence levels is as old as it is complex. It has probably challenged generations of educationalists on practical, administrative and political levels; in formal education but also in professional development domains, such as in Human Resources.

The problem in measuring competences is not only a certain ambiguity in the term ’competence’, caused for instance by different connotations in different languages, but also by different cultural views on competence and learning theory.

Additional complexity comes in as competences are – unlike (school) subjects – always dependent on their contexts. Teamwork competences are (among others) dependent on the team composition and the task; leadership competences are dependent on the group and the environment in which it is practiced and teaching competences relate to the learning environment, the students and their familiarity with the learning schemes – among many other contextual aspects.

In order to operationalise competences, one needs certain reference points against which competences can be described.

Taxonomies are such reference systems.

They are the major instruments to classify, and later to measure and document competence levels.

There are several other competence models and taxonomies which try to explain and describe competences and try to operate them for different purposes.

The REVEAL group has developed its own taxonomy (LEVEL5) based on the post-Bloom taxonomy in a blend with a derivate of the emotional intelligence taxonomy.  It consists of Knowledge, Skills (capabilities) and Attitudes (emotions/values) on 5 levels. This taxonomy facilitates assessing, documenting but also planning competence developments in highly context-dependent environments such as learning in mobility or learning on the job or in leisure time activities.

As the table on the right shows, the LEVEL5 taxonomy comes with general descriptors (’level titles’) which are derived partly from Bloom’s systems and partly from other taxonomies and concepts, like levels of ‘emotional intelligence’ and ’affective competence’ and affective self-regulation.

The LEVEL5 taxonomy is the basic system for so called ’reference systems’ in which the taxonomy is transferred to distinctive competences.

In the reference systems competences are contextualised with the help of specific learning outcome descriptors for each of the cells.

LEVEL5 Taxonomy