The term “entry-to-practice competencies” refers to the competency set that a worker requires to begin professional practice. This is a unique and very important competency set in that possession of the entry-to-practice competencies is considered to enable safe and effective novice-level practice. Regulatory bodies normally establish their registration requirements to include demonstrated possession of the entry-to-practice competencies.
Having entered practice, all workers should be expected to undergo continuous learning throughout their careers based upon experience supplemented (sometimes) by more advanced training. Over time they should progress beyond novice-level practice and become more seasoned workers, demonstrating perhaps ‘”mastery” or even “expertise”. With continued learning, a worker’s competency set evolves: level of proficiency increases in the competencies that are practiced; competencies that are not practiced may decay; new competencies may be learned. As careers progress, workers develop somewhat personalized competency sets that reflect their unique work settings, experience and uptake of learning.
While an entry-to-practice competency set is necessarily administered as a “one size fits all” standard or expectation, competencies required for more mature practice will vary with the practice setting and might be considered more of a “moving target”. That said, competency sets that apply across career and across practice settings can be derived, and are typically of interest to regulatory bodies and others interested in assessing career-long competence.
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