A Proposed Conceptualization for the Standardized Digital Representation of Competencies

Timothy Willett MD, CRI Critical Care Education Network, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Rosalyn Scott, MD, FACS, US Depratment of Veterans Affairs
Valerie Smothers, MedBiquitous
Rachel Ellaway, PhD, Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Competency- and outcome-based education is becoming common in health care education. Health education governance bodies are publishing competency frameworks for broad implementation, while delivery organizations are developing bespoke frameworks. Currently, there is no technical specification for competency frameworks or competency-related data. The MedBiquitous Competencies Working Group is an international group of health educators and technologists, accredited by the American National Standards Institute. Its goal is to develop a technical specification for competency data. The goal is not to develop a single canonical competency framework, but to develop a standard way of electronically publishing competencies and frameworks. The Working Group has used literature reviews, use cases, discussions, surveys, reviews of published frameworks and expert consultations to conceptualize a standard way competency data may be represented electronically. The conceptualization suggests a standard way competencies, frameworks and associated data can be expressed electronically. It is hoped that this will facilitate: rapid and broad dissemination of published frameworks; importation of frameworks into learning management systems; mapping of competencies to learning and assessment objects/activities; cross-mapping of competency frameworks; competency-based searches for learning events or materials; sharing of competency-based portfolios; and other related functions.