The purpose of this paper is to investigate the potential of already existing skills and competence ontologies to benefit European transparency tools and especially the…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the potential of already existing skills and competence ontologies to benefit European transparency tools and especially the implementation of the European Qualification Framework. Furthermore, it asks whether any of them could serve as a starting point to develop an International Standard Classification of Skills and Competences to supplement ISCED and ISCO.
This contribution contains a comparative analyses of three systems providing ontologies of skills and competences – DISCO, O*NET and Taxonomy_DB – under terminological and pragmatic aspects.
The analysis identifies O*NET as the most promising candidate to serve European transparency instruments and the EQF. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the development of an International Standard Classification of Skills and Competences, that is suitable for statistical purposes as well as appropriate for practical applications in human resource management and in the area of education, would have to integrate very diverging demands, which so far are being best met by O*NET and DISCO.
The depth of the analysis is not sufficient to serve as an exhaustive guideline to design an International Standard Classification of Skills and Competences.
The paper shows the potential of a future International Standard Classification of Skills and Competences for the EQF, for European transparency tools, and for statistical purposes.
This article brings a new topic, namely ontologies for skills and competences, into the European debate about competences and their visibility and validation.
The purpose of this article is to explore diversity in competence models across Europe and consider the extent to which there is sufficient common ground for a common…
The purpose of this article is to explore diversity in competence models across Europe and consider the extent to which there is sufficient common ground for a common European approach to underpin the European Qualifications Framework.
The paper uses a literature review and interviews with policy makers.
Despite the central role of competence in policy initiatives, conceptual approaches to competence vary not only between but also within different member states. This diversity embodies not only language issues but also fundamental cultural differences in approaches to skill formation. Whether the models have sufficient common ground to permit a “best‐fit” European‐wide approach is open to question, although this is clearly an essential prerequisite for removing barriers to labour mobility. Despite initiatives like the European Qualifications Framework there is still no consensus for adopting a common competence model and policy discussions continue to reveal confusion.
The focus on policy discussions at the European level may be a limitation, and readers should see this as the introductory scene setting to more detailed discussions in the following papers of important developments within member states. Beyond this, much is happening at the level of sectors and occupations that is the focus for practical implementation.
The paper highlights the urgent need to develop a coherent conceptual underpinning for competence descriptors in qualifications frameworks that will work as a best‐fit approach across Europe. Without this, occupational and inter‐sector mobility will be hindered.
The paper offers the most comprehensive assessment of European approaches to competence to date.