For example, a nurse must be able to inoculate a crying child. A nurse who cannot perform this task is regarded as incompetent - unfit to be a nurse. Likewise, a police officer must be able to pacify drunken pub visitors who have got into a quarrel. The profession one has or wishes to have will require certain competencies, and they may be specific to that particular job.
Why competencies? In higher education, competency-oriented teaching has become an important objective. If you as a student know what competencies you already mastered and can identify those that you will need for your future profession, you will be able to set up a so-called personal development plan (PDP) aimed at acquiring the ones you still need. You can do so relatively independently, by means of doing assignments and exercises. The crucial thing is making hour own PDP: you and you alone are that PDP's owner.
How does it work? Managing your competencies is supported by the website www.managingyourcompetencies.noordhoff.nl which gives you access to the so-called PDP Toolbox. This computer program enables you to set up your PDP systematically. The exercises in this book feed directly into it and you can use it to maintain a logbook and store your assessment results. If you use the PDP Toolbox appropriately you will automatically obtain an overview of who you are, what you are striving for, how you want to go about it and what you have already achieved. The last - an overview of what you already achieved - is known as a portfolio. The PDP Toolbox will enable you to generate an electronic portfolio.
Managing your competencies has been revised on the basis of the authors' experiences and reactions of users of earlier editions.