Scaling up

In Roses are red, I proposed definitions for oft-used yet ambiguous terms such as “competency” and “capability”.

Not only did I suggest a competency be considered a task, but also that its measurement be binary: competent or not yet competent.

As a more general construct, a capability is not so readily measured in a binary fashion. For instance, the question is unlikely to be whether you can analyse data, but the degree to which you can do so. Hence capabilities are preferably measured via a proficiency scale.

Of course numerous proficiency scales exist. For example:

The NIH Proficiency Scale maintains Not Applicable, Fundamental Awareness (basic knowledge), Novice (limited experience), Intermediate (practical application), Advanced (applied theory) and Expert (recognized authority).

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