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13 replies

tethersend · 17/03/2010 19:31

Is this a word?

Is it 'competencies'? That sounds made up too, but I don't know why...

I ask because I teach a programme to secondary age students in which their skilled are assessed against five 'competences'.

It just jars with me, and I can't think of any other context for it...

Feel free to tell me I'm being ridiculous.

OP posts:
tethersend · 17/03/2010 19:32

FFS. skilled = skills.

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DorotheaPlenticlew · 17/03/2010 19:39

I don't know; I really hate this because I think of it as a nonsense word, but it has infiltrated the language of reasonable people I know to such an extent that I feel I can't object to it.

Grates on me every time I hear it though. Why on earth, when there are so many perfectly good existing terms, etc etc etc ... grrrr.

DorotheaPlenticlew · 17/03/2010 19:42

Should have said, I feel the same way about both versions you've suggested.

One can of course be competent at something, and competence is fine as a noun, but referring to someone's abilities as "competences" or "competencies" is just business-speak bullshit if you ask me.

Portofino · 17/03/2010 19:47

We have "competencies" at work. They are called things like "influencing" and "job mastery". Like Dorothea says, business-speak bullshit.

tethersend · 17/03/2010 19:48

That's my instinctive reaction, too DP... but is it correct?

Has anyone ever heard of it in another context?

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eclectech · 17/03/2010 19:49

I think competences is a mistake. The word used is competencies. It's been around 40 years or so now as part of a particular type of recruitment / assessment methodology. They tend to represent a mix of skills, knowledge and abilities so I'm not sure they do have a single synonym.

DorotheaPlenticlew · 17/03/2010 19:55

eclectech, I'm sure you are right, and that sounds very reasonable, and I know language should be descriptive not prescriptive etc etc but still ...

DorotheaPlenticlew · 17/03/2010 19:56

btw, raspberry was directed not at you personally, but at the notion of competencies in general

tethersend · 17/03/2010 19:59

eclectech- have a look here. They use 'competences'.

I agree, competencies sounds more plausible, but it still grates.

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eclectech · 17/03/2010 20:00

Hehe. I was just popping back to add that I didn't intend to argue against it being business-speak bullshit. Many moons ago I taught equal ops recruitment techniques and we used competencies. We always had to explain that they were a mix of skills, knowledge and abilities. One could argue we should have used those three terms.

eclectech · 17/03/2010 20:03

tethersend - well there you go, competences wins well and truly in a googlefight too.

It is all a load of old rubbish isn't it?

tethersend · 17/03/2010 20:40

But I bet out of 2980000 results for 'competences', 2979900 are on threads like this, and the remainder are on the Opening minds site.

Opening minds... Shutting windows.

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PrincessFiorimonde · 25/03/2010 21:56

Tethers, I think you'll find the two words are used pretty well interchangeably in business studies lingo.

e.g. the Open University has these:



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