For organisations that have gone to the effort of developing and publishing competencies, there can hardly be anything more important than getting those standards out into the hands of professional users and assessed accurately against the standards that were so carefully written. So much effort goes into researching, reviewing, carefully writing, structuring and testing out competencies – all of this is done to get the best possible information in to the hands of the professionals using the competency standards.
But actually getting them used successfully can be like tripping over the final hurdle at the end of a long and difficult race – almost all the hard work has been done, the result is tantalising close, and yet you never quite make the finishing line.
This is because distributing competencies in a form that can be easily and accurately used by professional users is hugely complicated.
The information involved is complex and detailed – sometimes running to hundreds of pages. Those people who need to make use of it are not generally employed by the organisation writing the standards – they work across hundreds, maybe thousands of different organisations – none of whom have the time or energy to consider your specific system or standards, potentially one of dozens they need to deploy.
Most competency authors have therefore been left with an impossible choice:
• Accept the major limitations of publishing them as PDFs, to be printed at each organisation, at which point they are out of your control – no way to update them, no data or reporting coming back, and no way to ensure the paper forms are used correctly
• Face the unfeasible cost of developing a bespoke system to oversee the process digitally (which even then will be seen as yet another stand-alone system for each organisation that needs to use it)
So despite all these efforts, much of that hard work goes to waste, and the original vision and intent of the competency authors never fully gets translated into the skills of the professionals on the ground.
Compassly has been designed from the beginning to work with competency authors, alongside individual professional users and the organisations that employ them.
The needs of competency authors is not an after-thought, it has been baked into the system from the very beginning. For organisations writing and assessing competency standards,
Compassly brings an incredible set of capabilities to solve your challenges:
And all of this is on top of the ease of use and powerful core features that come as standard with Compassly [link to features page when ready]
Different components can be used to build assessments out of any combination of data entry fields you like. Assessments and evidence “blocks” can be combined to construct detailed competency assessments that match the right way to truly assess competencies. The system fits around how you need to assess people, not the other way round.
And our modular approach means that further components can be slotted in as needed in the future, so we can help you build even more powerful competency assessments.
There is far more context to completing a competency than just questions or evidence, so Compassly lets you customise and contextualise throughout the competency library. This can be achieved through:
• Optional headers and footers for further context
• Grouping of assessments in nested hierarchies
• Introductory sections for assessments, including rich HTML text
Many competency assessments have common themes running throughout – certain questions that are commonly asked, evidence that is needed or standardised declarations. Even down to standard combinations of answers to assessment questions.
Compassly lets you build templates at all levels of the competency library that can be reused throughout. And because these templates are kept live and in sync, any changes will be automatically reflected wherever they are used, avoiding manual re-work and assuring consistency throughout.
Some skills, once obtained, are assumed to be permanent. But some may need refreshing or re-examining, but some more often than others. Compassly lets you set custom expiry durations for each competency that start from when the user successfully gain their competency.
It’s absolutely critical for any competency standard to be portable across organisations. Keeping records of progress in organisation silos, in folders of paper or local systems, means competencies can never be developed or transferred by the users involved. With some sets of competencies taking users years to develop, these barriers can hinder or even prevent progress towards achieving full competence.
Compassly solves this by allowing each user to maintain competency records in their own, personal digital competency passport. These can be developed across organisations throughout an individual’s career, or even in parallel in multiple organisations simultaneously.
Organisations will have different professionals working with a wide range of competency libraries – they don’t want bespoke systems for every single one, and they definitely don’t want to be creating their own digital or paper assessments for third party competencies. Compassly turns organisations from creators to curators, meaning they can easily use third-party competency libraries within their own organisation. And this isn’t limited to a single external library, Compassly allows libraries from a wide range of competency standards authors to be distributed across their organisation easily and through a single platform, alongside any developed internally, greatly simplifying the whole process.
You can find out more about how Compassly helps organisations here.
While libraries can be shared freely across organisations in Compassly, the author organisation of any individual competency library always maintain control over the distribution, authorship and versioning of their own competencies.
You are always in control of which organisations can make use of your competency libraries. There are many reasons for competency authors to want to do this, such as
Ensuring only professionally appropriate organisations have access for safety reasons, including limiting use to qualified training organisations
Collaborative membership models, where for fairness only those who have actively participated in the development of competencies can make use of them
Restricting use to appropriate industries or geographies, for example where competencies are written with specific national legal or regulatory frameworks in mind
Commercialisation of intellectual property through licensing
Some competency libraries will be written wholly in-house, with everything done by teams within one organisation.
But many of the more complicated competency libraries will involve input from experts outside of the organisation.
Compassly allows competency author organisations to invite collaborators from outside the organisation to help develop their competency libraries. This can either be through actively editing a competency library, or being recognised as a contributing author. Author attribution can be included (with live links to any Compassly user) irrespective of organisation, throughout that person’s career. Authors can be recognised for individual competencies, chapters of competencies or the library as a whole, with different authors recognised across different versions as practice develops and changes.Throughout all of this the author organisation is in control, able to restrict access to just working on the competency library (keeping other privileged information private) and turning on and off access as required.
Competencies develop and change over time, based on research, changes to practice and experience. Compassly lets you develop and release new versions of your competency libraries to keep them up-to-date with your latest approaches. And our full versioning setup means you can continue to work in draft on a new version with no disruption to existing live versions until you’re ready to publish. Any users on old versions are still supported without disruption to their progress, but all new users will automatically use the latest version – across all organisations using your competency library.
Compassly supports a range of commercial models to fit the different objectives that competency authors may have. For example:
For “Free, open access” or “Free, selected access”, Compassly only charges a small annual administrative fee plus any a one-off fee for any bespoke development required.
These commercial models work seamlessly with our distribution controls, to give you oversight and ownership of your standards. And where there is overlap (e.g. author-supported access to existing organisations), Compassly integrates this into one single setup for the hosting organisation.
Further bespoke setups may be possible including APIs with existing member records and integrated billing; please contact us to discuss your specific needs.
Competency libraries represent a hugely valuable source of information for their authors, but barely any of this information is currently captured. Distributing paper forms (even digitally as PDFs) is a one-way discussions, with instructions leaving your organisation and no reply ever being heard back. Even basic information about the number of people and organisations making use of the competencies is missing.
And because of the way Compassly is able to separate personal data and confidential organisation data, these reports can be made available to author organisations without breaching personal data privacy or organisation data confidentiality.