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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.

(This video is taken from the Competencies course in the Totara Academy, where you can access more resources and learning materials - including other videos). 

Creating a competency scale

  1. Go to Site administration menu > Competencies.
  2. Select Manage competencies.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the competency frameworks page and click Add a new scale under competency scale.
  4. Complete the competency scale settings
  5. Click Save changes.
  6. 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.

  7. To set the Default value click the correct values and click Update at the bottom of the column (if you forget this step the setting reverts back to the original default setting).
  8. Click All competency scales to return to the manage competencies page.

Your competency scale is now set up and ready to use. 

After setting up your competency scale, any ordering issues (such as non-proficient values listed before proficient ones) will be highlighted via a warning message. To adjust your scale values simply change the value so that it is marked as proficient (if this was missing), reorder or rename the item (if you typed them in the wrong order).

Competency scale example.

Competency scale 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.-

Scale value settings 

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.
Proficient value

Proficient values provide a way for the system to track if a user is 'competent' in a particular competency. This is used to show progress in learning plans and only show overdue notices for incomplete competencies. A user is considered 'competent' if the scale value set has Proficent checked. You can have multiple scale values set to proficient, but you must have at least one scale value marked as proficient. The proficient value is edited by editing the scale value.

The lowest scale value that is marked as proficient is automatically given to any user who has demonstrated the proficiency required by the competency's specified evidence item(s) (e.g., course/activity completion, passing course/activity grade).
DescriptionA longer description of the competency scale value.-


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 Site administration menu > Competencies.
  2. Select Manage competencies.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the competency frameworks page.
  4. Click Edit in the Options column, next to the competency scale you wish to edit.
  5. 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 Site administration menu > Competencies.
  2. Select Manage competencies.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the competency frameworks page.
  4. Click the name of the competency you wish to edit the scale values of, the scale details page appears.
  5. Depending the change you wish to make either:
    • Click Edit next to the value you wish to change.
    • Click Add new scale value to add a value to your scale.
  6. Adjust or complete the settings.
  7. Click Save changes.
  8. Click All competency scales to return to the Manage Competencies page.

Deleting a competency scale

You are not able to delete a competency scale that is currently in use.
  1. In Site administration menu > Competencies.
  2. Select Manage Competencies.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the Competency Frameworks page and click Delete in the Options column.
  4. A warning message appears. Click Yes to confirm.
On this page

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

Provide feedback about this page using the link in the bottom right of this page. 

Still have questions? Why not post them in the forums of the Totara Community?

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