About the competence framework

Competence Framework with four dimensions and four levels

The Competence Framework comprises four descriptive dimensions and its taxonomy categorizes competence requirements over a total of four hierarchical levels.

The taxonomy’s four hierarchical levels

The four hierarchical levels of tekom’s Competence Framework classify the various qualification and competence requirements using a taxonomic method.

Level 1:
Areas of competence
Seven areas of competence in technical communication are derived from the individual phases involved in the process of creating information products: 1. Context analysis, 2. Planning, 3. Concept development, 4. Content creation, 5. Media production, 6. Publication and distribution, 7. Market observation
Level 2:
Fields of competence
A number of fields of competence for each area of competence, each given a title and a general description. A total of 27 fields of competence describe the professional and workplace requirements for developing information products.
Level 3:
Thematic blocks
Each field of competence is underpinned by a number of thematic blocks. The various thematic blocks classify the individual teaching contents.
Level 4:
Teaching contents
A number of teaching contents for each thematic block. Teaching contents are the Competence Framework’s lowest level of detail. Approaches to teaching and imparting knowledge for teaching and qualification measures and the learning objectives for persons seeking to obtain qualifications are directly derived from these teaching contents.


Fig. 1: Excerpt of the Taxonomy for the Competence Framework


The Competence Framework’s four dimensions

These four dimensions encompass the qualification space in technical communication focusing on qualification and competence requirements, teaching approaches, learning objectives and qualification levels.

Dimension 1:
Qualification and competence requirements
The first dimension consists of the taxonomy for qualification and competence requirements. These are classified in the Competence Framework in relation to:
  1. Areas of competence,
  2. Fields of competence and
  3. Thematic blocks and are defined by
  4. Teaching contents.
Dimension 2:
Teaching approaches
The second dimension consists of three categories of different teaching approaches which, in relation to teaching contents, define which aspects must be taken into account when imparting knowledge:
  1. Imparting knowledge and facts: Definitions, functions and operating principles, features, characteristics, examples, aspects, criteria
  2. Conveying understanding and deliberation: Definitions, functions and operating principles, features, characteristics, examples, aspects, criteria, prerequisites, restrictions, appropriateness, use and deployment scenarios, benefits, objectives, advantages and disadvantages
  3. Teaching of skills: Methods, principles, processes, procedures
Dimension 3:
Learning objectives
The third dimension describes four categories of learning objectives for persons who are seeking to obtain qualifications, these are patterned on Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives:
  1. Knowledge: Reproduction of factual knowledge, concepts, simple definitions, data, events or rough outline presentation of theories, remembering and recalling facts, terms, concepts and answers
  2. Understanding: Formulating and explaining issues in one’s own words; presenting theories, constructs, laws etc.; understanding relationships etc.; organizing, comparing, interpreting; describing, reciting main ideas in terms of facts, terms, ideas and concepts in one’s own words
  3. Practical ability and application: Use of facts; use of methods; implementation; completion of processes; independent problem-solving, even in new situations
  4. Deliberation and analysis: Invitation to break down the facts of an issue or of statements, data, problems etc.; determining comparison criteria; critical juxtaposition and comparison; analysis of problems etc.; own suggestions regarding setting of questions, examination options etc., analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating and developing means: Investigating, dissecting or compiling and combining facts, opinions, judgments and assessments in terms of their validity or quality or based on criteria.
Dimension 4:
Qualification levels
The fourth dimension describes skills profiles and qualification levels that can be achieved after completing a qualification measure. The qualification levels are patterned on the classification adopted in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). Two skills profiles that each correspond to two qualification levels are defined in tekom’s Competence Framework for tekom certification purposes:
1. Professional Level Qualification: EQF 4 (3)
  • Knowledge (EQF 4): Wide range of theoretical and factual knowledge in an area of work or study
  • Practical ability (EQF 4): A series of cognitive and practical skills that are required in order to find solutions to specific problems in an area of work or 
  • Competence (EQF 3): Accepting responsibility for accomplishing work or study tasks; adapting one’s own behavior to suit the relevant circumstances when problem-solving
2. Expert Level Qualification: EQF 5 (4)
  • Knowledge (EQF 5): Extensive, specialist theoretical and factual knowledge in an area of work or study and an awareness of the limits of this knowledge
  • Practical ability (EQF 5): Extensive cognitive and practical skills that are required in order to devise creative solutions to abstract problems
  • Competence (EQF 4): Acting autonomously within the guidelines of work or study contexts that, as a rule, are generally known but nevertheless liable to change; overseeing the routine work of other persons, accepting a certain amount of responsibility for assessing and improving their work or study activitiesd


Fig. 2: The four dimensions of the competence profile


Relationships between the dimensions

The relationships between the dimensions are especially important when applying the Competence Framework in a further education setting. The aim is to mesh the individual dimensions of the Competence Framework together during the further education and qualification process.

The following graphic illustrates these relationships: The competence requirements define teaching contents that are defined in the tekom Competence Framework. The competence requirements or teaching contents that result from them, are thematized using a specific teaching approach. This is done by further education institutes. The purpose of imparting knowledge is for the further education student to acquire knowledge and to achieve specific learning objectives. The end of the knowledge acquisition process must result in a specific learning outcome. Whether or not this has been achieved is ascertained during the certification exam by examination questions. If the learning outcome and examination results correspond to the defined qualification levels and skills profiles, the qualification of the further education student can be confirmed and endorsed by certification. 

Fig. 3: Relationships between the dimensions of the Competence Framework