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Adding a competency item

You can add competency items to a competency framework individually, via Bulk actions or via HR Import.

Adding a competency item

To add competency items individually:

  1. In the Administration menu, go to Hierarchies > Competencies.
  2. Select Manage Competencies.
  3. Click on the Name of the competency framework in which you would like to add a competency item.
  4. Click Add new Competency.
  5. Configure the competency item Settings as required.

  6. Click Save changes.

Your new competency item now appears in the selected competency framework.

Settings 
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SettingDescriptionNotes
Competency framework

This field cannot be edited and simply shows the selected competency framework.

This field cannot be edited and simply displays information.
ParentThe Parent competency allows you to build parent/child relationships between the individual competency items in your hierarchy framework. You must have at least one competency item set up in your framework for this option to be available. The default value is Top.This option will not appear on the first competency item you create within a framework, however it will be available for all subsequent ones or when editing the initial one (after creating subsequent items).
NameEnter the name of competency item.-
Competency ID numberCompetency ID number is a unique number used to represent the competency.

If you try to use an ID that already exists you will get the following validation error Record with this ID number already exists.

DescriptionPresents a free-text field for providing more details about this competency. This data is displayed when viewing the hierarchy listing, and the individual competency page.-
Type

Choose whether you want to set a Competency Type.

Types are containers for custom fields. When you assign a competency to a type, the competency inherits the custom fields associated with it. This is an optional field which can be left blank or set later, see Competency Types to learn more.

If a competency is assigned a type it inherits any custom fields that have been assigned to that type. This allows you to organise metadata relating to your competencies and only show the fields that each sort of competency needs.
HR Import?Checking this field will enable HR Import and will allow the competency element to be updated/deleted from an external source (if configured).The idnumber field MUST have a value to enable this field as per the HR Import settings.
Aggregation method

The aggregation method sets how the system will calculate the competency achievement. The options are:

  • All: This means that all the child competencies will have to be achieved for the parent competency to be declared achieved.
  • Any: This means that only one of the child competencies needs to be met to successfully achieve the parent competency.
  • Off: Automatic achievement will be deactivated for this competency. (It may still be marked achieved manually.

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Scale

This is the Competency Scale that is used in the competency framework. The competency scale is set in the competency framework. Only one competency scale can be used in each framework.

This field cannot be edited and simply displays information.


Added Competency item

Aggregation

If the aggregation method of a parent competency is set as All then it will be automatically marked as complete on the next cron run after all of the child competencies have been marked as competent. Likewise, for the Any option, the parent competency will be marked as complete when the cron runs after one child competency is marked as complete.

The scheduled task responsible for updating competency status is totara_hierarchy\task\update_competencies_task. By default this is set to run every hour.

If the parent competency requires all child competencies to be complete but only a subset of the child competencies are assigned to the given user, the parent competency will not be marked as complete.

Editing a competency item

  1. In the Administration menu, go to Hierarchies > Competencies.
  2. Click Manage Competencies.
  3. Click the name of the competency framework you wish to update.
  4. Click the Edit icon () in the Actions column for the corresponding competency item.
  5. Make the required changes.
  6. Click Save changes.

Deleting a competency item

  1. In the Administration menu, go to Hierarchies > Competencies.

  2. Click Manage Competencies.

  3. Click the name of the competency framework you wish to update.
  4. Click the Delete icon () in the Actions column for the corresponding competency item.
  5. A warning message will be displayed. Carefully read the confirmation message, and once you understand the implications of deleting the competency item, click Continue. If you do not wish to continue click Cancel.

Moving a competency item

  1. In the Administration menu, go to Hierarchies > Competencies.

  2. Click Manage Competencies.

  3. Click the name of the competency framework you want to update.
  4. Click the Move up () or Move down () icon in the Actions column for the corresponding competency Item to rearrange the order items display.

Note
Moving competency Parent items up or down in a framework list will move all associated child competency items. 
Note
A child competency cannot be removed from a Parent item via the Move up or Move down options.  To change a competency Parent use the Edit icon.

Competency items with details


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Bulk actions 

Bulk actions allow you to Add, Delete, Move and Reclassify multiple competency items in one action.

Add competency items

In the Bulk actions dropdown list select Add to create multiple competency items with the same Parent and Type.

  1. In the Administration menu, go to Hierarchies > Competencies.
  2. Click Manage Competencies.
  3. Select the name of the competency framework to which you want to add the competency items.
  4. Select Add from the Bulk actions dropdown menu.
  5. Select the Parent competency.

  6. Set the Competency Type (optional).

  7. Enter each competency item you wish to add on a new line (i.e. one per line).

  8. Select the Aggregation method.
  9. Click Save changes.

Your new competency items now appear in the competency framework.

Bulk Add Competency Items

Delete competency items

In the Bulk actions dropdown list select Delete to remove multiple competency items with the same Parent and Type .

  1. In the Administration menu, go to Hierarchies > Competencies.
  2. Click Manage Competencies.
  3. Click the name of the Competency framework from which you wish to delete competency items.
  4. Select Delete from the Bulk actions dropdown menu.
  5. Select the Available Competencies you wish to delete and click Add> to transfer them to the Selected Competencies area (hold Ctrl down on the keyboard to select multiple items).
  6. Click Delete selected competencies.
  7. A warning message is displayed, click Yes to confirm.

The selected competency items will be deleted.

Bulk delete competency items

Bulk move competency items

In the Bulk actions dropdown list select Move to transfer multiple Competency items with the same Parent 

  1. In the Administration menu, go to Hierarchies > Competencies.
  2. Click Manage Competencies.
  3. Click the name of the Competency framework where you wish to move Competency items in bulk.
  4. Select Move from the Bulk actions dropdown menu.
  5. Select the Available Competencies you wish to move and click Add> to transfer them to the Selected Competencies area (hold Ctrl down on the keyboard to select multiple items).
  6. From the Move selected Competencies to: dropdown menu, select the Parent competency where you wish to move the selected competency items.
  7. Click the Move button.
  8. A warning message is displayed, click Continue to confirm. Alternative you can click Cancel if you do not wish to continue. 

The selected Competency items are now moved.

Bulk move competency items

Reclassify competency items

In the Bulk actions dropdown list select Reclassify to assign multiple Competency items to a new Competency Type.  For instructions on reclassifying competencies please see Competency Types.

Assigning linked courses to competencies

Once you have set up competency items you can link them to any number of courses which may be completed to achieve a level of proficiency for the competency. 

Competencies assigned to a course can be:

  • Mandatory: Mandatory courses must be completed by the learner. When creating a Learning Plan for a user that is set to automatically import competencies, the learner's competencies and linked mandatory courses are automatically pulled into the plan the learner is not able to delete them.
     
  • Optional: Optional courses are suggested courses that the learner could complete to help them meet a competency. When creating a Learning Plan for a user that is set to automatically import competencies, the learner's competencies and linked optional courses are automatically pulled into the plan but the learner may have permission to delete them. 

When the learning plan template is set to automatically assign competencies from position and/or automatically assign from organisation as well as to Include linked courses, courses linked to competencies automatically appear in a learners Learning Plan when they create one. 

To link courses to a competency:

  1. In the Administration menu, go to Hierarchies > Competencies.
  2. Click Manage competencies.
  3. Select the name of the competency framework you wish to update.
  4. Click the name of the competency item to which you want to add linked courses.
  5. Click Assign course completions.
  6. Select the course(s) you wish to assign to the competency.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Set the Link type this affects whether the course is mandatory or optional. The default state is Optional.
  9. Click Return to competency framework when finished.

You can remove a selected course by clicking the Delete icon () under Options.

Assign course completions

Note
To remove any courses from the Items to add list, hover over the name of the course and use the Delete icon ().


Linked courses within a competency item

Assigning competencies to positions and organisations

You can also link competencies with Organisations and/or a Positions within the corresponding position and/or organisation items. For instructions on this process please refer to Organisations and Positions.

Exporting competency items

Site administrators can export all competency items within the selected competency framework in either Excel, .csv or .ods format.

To export competency items:

  1. In the Administration menu go to Hierarchies > Competencies.
  2. Click Manage Competencies.
  3. Select the name of the competency framework you wish to update.
  4. Select the required format under Export all items from framework
  5. Click Export all items.
  6. Select Open or Save to view or save the export file.

Export competency items

Read more about how Totara can help with competency-based training on our website. 

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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.