Offering the option of creating courses and training plans with a competency-based approach, the competencies framework in LMS365 is an additional way, besides certificates, to reward learners after they have completed a course or training plan.
Upon training completion, learners will be granted with one or more relevant competency(ies) of a certain level. Learners will see which competency(ies) that can be achieved by completing a course or training plan. The learning responsible, on the other hand, can use the LMS365 Competency Framework to estimate learners' current skills and plan their further development.
In this article, we provide you with an overview of the competencies and scale sets features. We will cover the prerequisites to employ the LMS365 Competency Framework, how to create and manage competencies and scale sets, and how to filter and search for competencies.
How competencies and scale sets work
Here is an example of how competencies and scale sets can work in practice:
Your organization starts to use LMS365. To train all employees in using the platform, you create a course called "Introduction to LMS365". For this course, you create and use the competency "LMS365 User" and scale the level as "Beginner". Upon completion of this course, learners will be granted the competency "LMS365 User \ Beginner".
Next, you need a certain group of employees to learn how to create and manage training in LMS365. You enroll this group of employees in the course "Creating and managing trainings in LMS365" and grant learners the same competency "LMS365 User" for completing the course, but set the scale level as "Advanced". Upon completion of this course, learners will be granted the competency "LMS365 User \ Advanced".
For example, in the course "Introduction to LMS365" you may set two different competencies "LMS365 user \ Beginner" and "Online Learning \ Intermediate". However, you will not be able to grant the same competency of different levels "LMS365 user \ Beginner" and "LMS365 user \ Advanced" to learners completing this course, as "LMS365 user \ Beginner" and "LMS365 user \ Advanced" are levels of the same competency.
You can configure competencies achieved by completing a course or training plan to be valid for a certain period of time. You can also revoke the competencies learners have achieved.
To be able to use the LMS365 Competency Framework, your organization needs to have a subscription for the Competency Management add-on, or you need to have your trial license activated.
If none of these prerequires are fulfilled, a notification will guide you to contact your reseller, partner, or the LMS365 License Team for further assistance.
The same notification in the classic look of My Training Dashboard provides similar information and directs learner to contact the LMS administrator.
To manage competencies, the user should be at least course catalog administrator.
Competencies are set on a course catalog level.
To manage competencies, navigate to the LMS365 Admin Center. On the left-side panel, under the Competency Framework, select Manage Competencies.
Creating a competency
To create and add a new competency to a course catalog, follow the steps below:
1) In the LMS Admins Center, go to Settings > Competency Framework.
2) Choose Manage Competencies and select Add Competency.
3) Fill in the fields in the Add Competency panel:
Name - The field is required. Specify the name of the competency that the learner will receive. The competency name is displayed on course and training plan home pages under Competencies and on My training Dashboard under the Certificates and Competencies section.
Scale Set - From the drop-down list, select a scale set, and hereby what different levels you would like to be available for the competency. The Default scale set is selected automatically. This scale set includes the levels: Unassigned, Poor, Below Average, Average, Above Average, and Outstanding.
If you would like to add a different scale set with different levels, either select it from the drop-down list or create a new in the Scale Set section.
The Categories and Tags fields are optional. You can add category(ies) and tag(s) for improved search among other competencies.
4) Select Save to add a new competency to the course catalog.
Filter and search for competencies in the LMS365 Admin Center
On the Manage Competencies page, you can:
- Filter competencies using ordering by Name. Per default, competencies are ordered alphabetically by name.
- In the Search field, type in the competency name, category, or tag to filter competencies accordingly.
- Select the view icon to see a list of course(s) and training plan(s) that use the competency.
If the competency does not have an eye icon, it can be due to the following reasons:
- The competency is not used by a training or is not granted to a learner.
- The competency was in use by a course or training plan and was granted to a learner, but the training was deleted. In this case, you can track the received competency with the training from the learner's transcript.
- The competency was granted to a learner by a course catalog admin without this learner being enrolled in a specific training.
Delete a competency from a course catalog
To delete a competency from a course catalog:
1) Navigate to the LMS365 Admin Center.
2) From the left-side panel, select Competency Framework and then Manage Competencies.
3) Select the relevant competency.
4) From the Edit Competency panel, select Delete Competency.
5) In the confirmation dialog window, select OK to proceed with the action or Cancel to cancel the action.
Removing a competency from a course or training plan
If you decide to stop granting learners a competency upon completion of a course or training plan, you can remove the competency from the training.
There are two ways to remove a competency from a course or training plan:
a) While editing the training, you can remove a competency from the specific course or training plan:
1) In the LMS365 Admin Center, select the relevant training.
2) From the Course/Training Plan Management panel, select Manage Course/Training Plan Settings.
3) From the Setting section, in the Competencies field, delete the competency you want to remove. If the removed competency was the only competency in the course or training plan, you need to select another competency to be able to save the changes as the Competencies field is required and can't be left empty. To completely remove the Competency option from the course or training plan, drag the Competency toggle Off and save the changes.
b) From the Competency Framework in the LMS365 Admin Center, you can remove a competency from several courses and/or training plans at once:
1) In the LMS365 Admins Center, go to the Competency Framework section > Manage Competencies.
2) On the Manage Competencies page, select the eye icon next to the relevant competency to see all training this competency is used in.
3) Select the course(s) and/or training plan(s) you want to remove the competency from.
4) Select the cross icon near the competency to delete this competency from the selected training.
5) In the confirmation dialog window, select OK to remove the competency or Cancel to cancel the action.
As soon as you remove the competency from the training, learners will not be granted it any more upon training completion, even if the learner was enrolled in the training with a Not Started or In Progress training, when the competency was removed from the course.
However, the previously granted competencies of this training remain unchanged in the learner's records.
Granting and revoking competencies
When you create or edit training, you can configure competencies settings, including setting a fixed date, or a certain amount of time after completion of the course or training plan, in which the competency(ies) will be revoked.
Additionally, you can grant and revoke competencies to/from specific learners in the following ways:
- From the Learner list:
- You can grant competency(ies) to learner(s) even if the learner isn't enrolled in a course or training plan that grants this competence.
- You can revoke competency(ies) of learner(s).
- From the View Learner's Progress, you can manually complete a course or training plan for a learner. This learner will automatically be granted a competency if the training has the Competency option enabled.
- From the View Learner's Progress, you can manually delete a learner's training progress. The competency(ies) granted for this training will change status from Valid to Planned.
- From the Line Manager Dashboard:
- From the Course/Training Plan Progress panel:
- If you manually complete a course or training plan for a learner, this learner will automatically be granted one or more competencies if this training has the Competency option enabled.
- If you manually delete a learner's training progress, the competency(ies) granted for this training will change status from Valid to Planned.
Managing scale sets
Scale sets are sets of levels that are used to define the levels of competencies that can be achieved by learners - for example: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
Each competency will have a specific scale set attached that will define at which levels this competency can be acquired.
In the the LMS365 Admin Center, you can add, edit, and delete scale sets.
You can add multiple scale sets to a course catalog. However, there can only be one Default scale set. The default scale set will be used for all competencies, unless a different scale set is selected by the admin.
Adding a scale set
To add a new scale set to a course catalog, follow the steps below:
1) Navigate to the LMS365 Admin Center.
2) From the left-side panel, under the Competency Framework, select Manage Scale Sets.
3) Choose +Add Scale Set.
4) Fill in the fields on the Add Scale Set panel:
Name - Create the name of the scale set. This name will only be visible in the LMS365 Admin Center while the admin is creating or managing scale sets or adding a scale set to a competency. This field is required.
Is Default - Define if the scale set should be the default. Drag the On toggle to set the scale as the default scale set. There can only be one default scale set in a course catalog.
The Default scale set is marked with Yes in the Default column on the Manage Scale Sets page.
Levels - Define the levels of the scale set. To add a new level, select the +Add New Level button.
By default, there are three levels per scale set. The minimum number of levels in a scale set is one.
- Level Name - Provide a name to each level of the scale set. For example, you decide to have three levels in a scale set: basic, intermediate, and advanced. The level name goes along with the competency name and is visible to learners and administrators. Learners will see it on course and training plan home pages, for training that grants a competency with this scale set, and on My Training Dashboard under the Certificates and Competencies section.
- Value - Provide each level with a value. The Value is used to sort the levels in the ascending order.
If you don't require to sort levels, enter zero (0) in all Value fields. If you have the zero (0) value among the other entered values, the level with this value will always remains at the top of the list.
The default values are: 1,2,3.
For example, if you have 3 levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced, where Advanced is the highest ranked. You may place them in the Level Name fields in any order. Next, to sort them, for the Advanced enter 1 in the Value field, Intermediate - enter 2, Basic - enter 3. As soon as you fill in the Value fields, the Level Name fields will be adjusted automatically to the values in the Value fields in the ascending order.
If you decide to change the order of the levels, enter new relevant numbers in the Value fields. Thus, the Level Name fields will be adjusted automatically to the new values in the Value fields in the ascending order.
The scale set levels will be displayed in the order defined by the value ( the highest ranked on the top) when the admin is applying the competency during course or training plan creation or editing.
5) To save the created scale set, select Save. To discard and close the window, select the close icon at the top right corner.
Editing and deleting a scale set
To edit a scale set, follow the steps below:
1) Go to the LMS365 Admin Center > Competency Framework > Manage Scale Sets.
2) From the Manage Scale Sets page, select the scale set you want to edit or delete.
3) From the Edit Scale Set panel, introduce the required changes in the relevant fields: change the scale set name or the level names, add new levels or delete existing.
NOTE: You can't delete or modify a level of a scale set if the competency it is part of:
This level will be greyed out and unclickable.
To delete a scale set, on the Edit Scale Set panel, under Actions, select Delete Scale Set.
In the confirmation dialogue box, select OK to continue the process or Cancel to cancel the deletion.
Tracking and reporting on competencies
LMS365 allows both admins and learners to keep track of competencies and their status.
How admins can see learners' competencies
Reports on competencies can track and downloaded in multiple ways:
1) In the LMS365 Admin Center, via the Learner List Microsoft 365 global admin and course catalog admin can either:
- Track a specific learner's competencies and download the report in a PDF file by going to the LMS365 Admin Center > Learner Administration > Learner List > select the relevant learner > and View Learner's Transcript. Please find more information on viewing a learner’s transcript here.
- Or can filter learners according to their achieved competencies and download the result. For more information, please see this guide on how to filter learners in the learner list.
2) From the Line Manager Dashboard, line managers can:
- Track a specific learner's competencies and download the report in a PDF file. Please find more information in this guide.
- Filter learners according to the competencies they have achieved and download the result. Please find more information in this guide.
How learners can see their competencies
Learners can see their planned, valid, and revoked competencies in multiple ways:
1) From My Training Dashboard:
2) On course and training plan home pages, learners will see the competencies granted by the course or training plan in question in the Competencies section. If learners have already completed the course or training plan, they will see the competencies they have achieved when they completed the training.