Bridging the ‘gap’ to employment is something which has consistently proven to be a challenge for those seeking employment, their mentors, career advisors, and businesses. As society accelerates, those wishing to sell their ‘potential’ are witnessing this gap widen. A certification-based approach set up to service the industrial era now offers little in terms of evidencing or illustrating an individual’s transferable experience, capabilities, potential or worth. In most cases, people are reliant on the certification of their ability to retain knowledge and meet standards, and have little in the way of demonstrating who they are and the potential which they hold. Taking part in formative activities, either in a formal or non-formal setting is not new; however, as the employment market becomes more competitive and businesses demand certain behaviours, attributes and habits, those seeking employment are left without the validation of what they have achieved and what they are capable of.
Humans can be view of being made up of 2 complimentary halves. On one side we have the Human Capital consisting of the knowledge, skills and understanding; and on the other we find the Community Elements of habits, attitudes and behaviours.
Currently both sides of this ‘individual’ are accounted for within most parts of society; however it is the Human Capital element which appears to demand more focus, time and resource, and as a result, this is then mirrored in the perceived valued outcomes. However, although certification is an immensely valuable component, it can not be considered the ‘whole’.
Recently there has been an increased volume of concern from Business that formal grades offer little indication of the ‘career readiness’ and competency levels of young people leaving post 16 education or FE. Consequently, this has left employers with the risk that these formal grades do not transfer into the employment market.
As Google’s Vice President (Bryant) stated back in 2013 “Academic environments are artificial. People who succeed there are conditioned to succeed in that environment”.
Business demands people who can adapt, see connections, innovate, communicate, and work with others; and with the growth in ‘knowledge-based economies’ and ‘learning societies’, this demand will only increase. Business has continued to run ahead of education and training, and employees with evidenced skills and behaviours, such as adaptability and learning agility, are in increasing demand.
However, opportunities to develop these Community Elements within ourselves are present within all components of society. Albeit unknowingly, we are often subconsciously building on and acquiring new habits, attitudes, and professional behaviours. It can often be our own inability to recognise the development of these Community Elements which is the restraint. However, even if we did possess the skills of recognition and the literacy to express them, how do we capture and then illustrate them in a way which compliments the formal certification we have achieved by passing tests?
What is the solution?
In today’s world the most successful people are highly skilled and able to perform well in many different circumstances. The complication is that traditional approaches to development and accreditation are inappropriate for developing and evidencing the behaviours that successful people need. The solution is to provide Point of Learning systems, where competency frameworks are used to develop, observe, measure, and record behaviours in real-time, in different circumstances and environments, and within ‘community’ networks.
At Imagine Education, we have harnessed technology to create the world’s first real-time ‘Behavioural Assessment’ system. A system that can be implemented in any environment regardless of age group, experience, activity, or purpose; and compliments the existing pathways of certification.
This Point of Learning system, PerformEd, captures the development of pre-set or bespoke behaviours in real time. It credits users instantly for demonstrating the development of these behaviours, and awards credits where this happens, whenever it happens. It is an immediate form of evidence collection that not only captures incremental changes in behaviours, but collects and collates the supporting evidence to form a live-portfolio of capabilities, behaviours, habits and attitudes.
The PerformEd platform addresses three elusive challenges:
- Assessing authentic, real time development and providing instantaneous feedback.
- Recognising and accrediting development in a range of contexts and
- Providing a solution that promotes insight into the Behaviours, Attitudes and Habits of an individual.
So, how does it work?
PerformEd depends upon ‘Users’ and assigned assessors having access to the competency frameworks required to illustrate their specific area of growth, and access to a PerformEd enabled device (smart phone, tablet, PC etc). Using these, developmental credits can be issued immediately, demonstrating the desired outcomes – at the point at which they happen.
PerformEd uses a ‘Point of Performance’ technology approach to deal with individual competency development; thereby, enabling better and more dynamic forms of accreditation, feedback, and evidence collection. This leads to the construction and continuous development of a live-portfolio which compliments the knowledge-based certification gained through formal education and training. Furthermore, it enables ‘Users’, Training providers, Career guidance, Recruitment agencies, and Business to evaluate an individuals’ level of competency, potential for employment, and future development needs.
PerformEd provides a framework and means for Business (Employment providers & Career services) to accurately determine an individuals’ competency level, previous experience, potential to successfully adapt to a given workplace, and their ability to apply previous learning and development within an environment outside of formal education and training. Through placing emphasis on learning and development occurring through engagement, reflection, and application, PerformEd unifies the ‘development activity’ with the growth in professional behaviours and competency, offering individuals the ability to illustrate this through a live-portfolio.
PerformEd also enables specified ‘assessors and mentors’ to remotely monitor, track, and evaluate the efficacy of specific behaviours, course outcomes, competencies, and skills; and when needed, to identify where further intervention, support or development can be focused.
- Businesses with the assurances that individuals have the required behaviours to offer ‘added value’ and transfer certification and prior experience into their work environment.
- HR departments with the insight to inform performance and future development requirements.
- Recruitment Officers with the ‘Tool’ that enables accurate and affirmative mapping of candidates to roles.
- Career Advisors with the bespoke ‘employment-focused’ frameworks and portfolio building tool that enables young people to capture and illustrate the development of the required professional behaviours.
As the world of employment adapts to mirror societal changes, ‘careers’ are shortening, and employment is becoming increasingly contingent. For those leaving education or wishing to change careers, this means that they need to be able to demonstrate their ability to anticipate and respond to the unanticipated. They also need to illustrate that they have experienced, practised, and honed the required professional behaviours desired in a fast-moving work environment. Relying solely on traditional forms of certification does not offer them the opportunity to showcase their full / potential capacity; and therefore, restricts their future chances.
PerformEd provides a solution which promotes the development of ‘core competencies and professional behaviours’ within any context or environment through a rigorous and malleable method of accreditation and evidence gathering.
PerformEd provides the essential ‘bridge to employment’ through easily capturing behavioural change, and offering illustration through a ‘live-portfolio of evidence’ which sits alongside and compliments the knowledge-based certification.
PerformEd provides the ‘Tool’ to plot professional behaviour development and evidence a journey, and it builds capacity and competency to form and enhance new habits and attitudes. By using PerformEd, ‘Users’ increase their employability by collecting and documenting the professional behaviours gained through employment, work-based practice, community initiatives, extra-curricular activities, and formal school-based learning.