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Competency assignments allow you to assign competencies (from your existing competency frameworks) to users or groups of users (e.g. audiences, organisations etc.) and manage those assignments. 

Creating competency assignments

Before you create any competency assignments you will first need to ensure you have created some competencies on your site. 

  1. Go to Quick-access menu > Competency assignments
  2. Select the Create assignments button. 
  3. Choose one or more competency to assign and then select the Assign button. 
  4. From the Users to assign dropdown menu select which types of users to add, then select the group or individual users. 
  5. Select Save changes then click the Create assignments button.
  6. You will be presented with a confirmation message, where you can decide whether to activate the new assignments or not. 
  7. Finally, select Yes

Users must have the totara/competency:manage_assignments and moodle/user:viewdetails capabilities to view the Competency assignments page.

When assigning competencies by position or organisation users require the totara/hierarchy:viewposition or totara/hierarchy:vieworganisation respectively.

To assign competencies to audiences users will need either the moodle/cohort:view or moodle/cohort:manage capability. Only system-level audiences can be assigned competencies (not audiences within categories).

Assignment types

Depending on how a competency is assigned it will have a different assignment type. The three assignment types are:

  • Individual (Admin): The competency is assigned to individual users via the admin interface.
  • Individual (System): If an assignment has been archived there is an option to Enable continuous achievement tracking for all users involved. This allows continuous tracking even though the original assignment does not exist any more. All the users previously assigned will get a system assignment in this case. You can also enable the Continuous achievement tracking setting (Quick-access menu > Competencies > Competency settings) for all users who fall out of an assignment (e.g. due to a changing position).
  • Directly assigned: The competency was assigned by a user to themselves via the competency profile, or assigned by a manager to one of their staff members for example.

Currently assigned user report

The Currently assigned user report utilises the report builder tool in Totara, allowing you to customise the report to best suit your needs. It shows you each competency assignment in the system, allowing you to look at competency assignments in detail. For each competency assignment you can see:

  • Who the competency was assigned to (user's full name)
  • Which competency was assigned (competency name)
  • How it was assigned (assignment type e.g. via individual assignment, via group assignment such as by membership to a particular audience or organisation)
  • Who assigned it and when

This report details every single assignment to a competency, whereas the mini-report you see on the Competency assignment page only shows the Competency assignment groups, rather than showing the impact on each user (unless the assignment type was to an individual). This also means that you can see duplicate assignments, if someone has been assigned to the same competency multiple times through different methods (for example once via their position and then again via their membership of a particular audience). 

To view the Currently assigned users embedded report users need to have the totara/competency:manage_assignments (or totara/competency:view_assignments) and moodle/user:viewdetails capabilities.

Example of the Current assigned user report.

Managing competency assignments

When viewing the list of competency assignments you will see icons alongside each assignment. These allow you to activate (), archive () and delete () assignments, depending on their current status. You can also perform these actions on multiple competency assignments using the bulk action dropdown menu. 

Users managing competency assignments need to have the totara/competency:manage_assignments and moodle/user:viewdetails capabilities.


You can filter competency assignments to drill-down and display only the assignments you are currently interested in seeing. 

There are a number of ways you can filter competency assignments:

  • By status (e.g. draft, active, or archived)
  • By assignment type
  • By competency framework
  • By searching (using the search box)

Filtering options for competency assignments

Bulk actions

You can perform the same action on multiple competency assignments using the Bulk action dropdown menu. 

  1. Select the competency assignments you wish to perform the action on.
  2. From the bulk action dropdown menu select the action you wish to perform:
    • Activate
    • Archive
    • Delete (items must be archived before they can be deleted)
  3. You will see a confirmation box, read this and then select Yes if you are happy to proceed. 

Competency assignment bulk actions.

Edit proficiency by assignment

By default the minimum proficiency value is set on the scale associated with the competency via its framework. However it is also possible to determine minimum proficiency value per assignment. If proficiency by assignment is set, a user will achieve proficiency set by the assignment(s) rather than the scale. 

If a user is assigned to the same competency through multiple assignments and the minimum proficiency value has been overridden on some assignments it is now possible for a user to be considered proficient through one assignment but non-proficient through another. 

To determine minimum proficiency for a specific competency assignment follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Quick-access menu > Competencies > Manage competency assignments.
  2. Select the Edit proficiency value by assignment button.
  3. Select the competency assignments for which you want to edit the minimum proficiency value. Use the provided filters to find assignments. Note that you can bulk edit the minimum proficiency value for multiple assignments as long as they are assignments for competencies in the same framework. 
  4. Click EditYou will be presented with the competency scale associated with the selected competency framework.
  5. Select the value you want to use as minimum proficiency on the selected assignments.
  6. Click Save changes. The selected scale value will now be used to determine proficiency for users assigned through the selected assignments.

If you want to remove the minimum proficiency for assignments, follow the steps above but select Remove assignment-specific proficiency value at step 4. After saving the change, the minimum proficiency value as set on the competency scale will be used to determine proficiency for users assigned through the selected assignments.

Totara Academy

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

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