The Shift to Competency-Based Education in the Electrical Trades Industry

Competency-Based Education (CBE) is an educational method focused on outcomes, mastery of competencies. Unlike traditional educational models that focus on time spent in training or courses completed, CBE uses predetermined standards associated with a job or position to set academic  expectations. Each job or position is broken down into a series of competencies, things learners need to be able to do well in order to be successful on the job.

This report is divided into three main sections. Section 1 is an overview of CBE and includes characteristics of CBE, terms, definitions, and concepts. Section 2 is a step-by-step guide to implementing CBE. Each step includes tasks, instructions, guidelines, and best practices. Section 3 focuses on preparing for and managing CBE programs. Organizational guidelines and requirements to support the implementation of CBE programs are discussed in this section, including responsibilities of instructors and students. Also, part of Section 3 is information on the development of activities for the CBE classroom and the development of assessment tools.

Each section includes recommendations, guidelines, best practices, and summaries. While the report is
based on research, it is presented as a practical guide to be used in the implementation and management of CBE programs.



Steven W. Schmidt


East Carolina University

Publication Date:

December 2019

Index Number:


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