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Competency scales enable you to define the criteria by which a competency can be measured. There is a competency scale set up in the system by default called Competency scale. This scale has three values:

  • Competent
  • Competent with supervision
  • Not competent

Creating a competency scale

  1. Go to Quick-access menu > Competencies.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the manage competencies page and click Add a new scale under competency scale.
  3. Complete the competency scale settings
  4. Click Save changes.

Your new competency scale is now added and you are able to set the default value and the proficient value.

The last scale value entered during set up is the default value which displays on a Learner’s record of learning (Totara Learn only). 

Setting default and proficient values

Once you have created your scale you can open the scale by clicking on it on the Manage competencies page, to configure the default and proficient values. 

You will see a table with each scale value listed with a number of options alongside it. 

Learning plan default value Within learning plans, this is the value that will automatically be awarded to a user when they have not yet demonstrated the proficiency required by the competency's evidence item(s) (course/activity completion, or passing course/activity grade), as specified in the learning plan (Totara Learn only).
Minimum required proficiency valueThe lowest value a user has to achieve to be considered proficient in a competency using this scale. All higher scale values are automatically classified as proficient values (i.e. values at which the user will be considered proficient).

Once you have made a change remember to click Save and apply changes.

You can also Edit each scale value using the relevant icons:

  • Edit (): Use this to edit the scale value settings
  • Delete (): This will delete a scale value

  • Move (/): Use the up and down arrows to re-order the scale values (this could affect whether a value is considered proficient, if it is moved above or below the minimum proficient value)

Adding scale values

After creating your scale you may wish to add new competency scale values. 

  1. In Quick-access menu > Competencies.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the competency frameworks page.
  3. Click the name of the competency you wish to edit the scale values of, the scale details page appears.
  4. Above the table of competency scale values click the Add scale value button. 
  5. Configure the scale value settings.
  6. Click Save changes

You can move the new scale value to where you wish it to sit in the scale, and even set it as the minimum proficient value if desired. 

Example of editing a competency scale.


Once you have created a competency scale with a number of values in it and set the proficient value then you may wish to edit these to make changes. 

Editing a competency scale

Once you have set up a competency scale, you are able to edit it.

  1. In Quick-access menu > Competencies.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Manage competencies page.
  3. Click the edit icon () in the Options column next to the competency scale you wish to edit.
  4. Make the changes required and click Save changes.

Editing a competency scale.

Editing a competency scale value

You can edit or add individual competency scale values.

  1. In Quick-access menu > Competencies.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the competency frameworks page.
  3. Click the name of the competency you wish to edit the scale values of, the scale details page appears.
  4. Depending on the change you wish to make either:
    • Click the edit icon () next to the value you wish to change
    • Click the Add scale value button to add a value to your scale
  5. Adjust or complete the settings.
  6. Click Save changes.
  7. Click All competency scales to return to the Manage competencies page.

Competency scale settings 

When creating a new competency scale or editing an existing one (by clicking the edit icon () alongside the scale on the Manage competencies page) you can configure the following settings:

NameThe name of the competency scale that will be used by competency frameworks.-
Scale values

Enter values for the competency scale (one per line), in order from most competent to least competent. For example:

Competent with supervision
Not competent

We recommend you enter them with the highest value first through to the lowest value, e.g. competent, competent with supervision, not competent. Scale values are used to describe a Learner’s progress for a competency.

When editing there is a link to add new scale values.

DescriptionA description of the scale.-

Remember to click Save changes one you are done. 

Scale value settings 

When inside a competency scale you can click the Add scale value button to add a new scale value, or click the edit icon () alongside an existing scale item to edit it. When creating or editing a scale value you will be presented with the settings listed in the table below. Remember to click Save changes after adjusting the settings. 

Competency scaleThe scale this value is a part of. This is for information and is automatically set. -
Scale value nameThe name of the competency scale value you are adding or editing.-
Scale value ID numberA unique number used to represent the scale value.-
Scale value numerical valueThe numerical value associated with the scale value. The scale value must be within the range -99999.99999 to 99999.99999 with no more than five decimal places.
DescriptionA longer description of the competency scale value.-

Deleting a competency scale

You are not able to delete a competency scale that is currently in use.
  1. In Quick-access menu > Competencies.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Mange competencies page and click the delete icon () in the Options column.
  3. A warning message appears. Click Yes to confirm.

Totara Academy

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Competencies in Totara. Here you can learn more on how to use competencies, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

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