Welcome to Skillspedia.  We are developing this site as a repository of skills and competencies.  There is considerable disagreement on the terminology of skills even at the highest level on what is a skill and what is a competence and, indeed what are behaviours rather than skills.  This 'experimental' site is aimed at trying to bring some wider understanding to the terminology used and to provide a central place of reference for 'skills' (in the widest sense).  How the contents are structured will evolve as in any wiki so the initial structure is offered as a starting point only.  Each page has a comments section at the bottom for a discussion and we encourage discussion and debate.  We also wish to see this being academically supported, so each page has references to relevant academic and other work on the topic. Please help us by commenting, contributing, adding, editing entries that you know about.  With your help this site can potentially grow to be of general benefit. 


The terminology of 'knowledge', 'skills', 'competencies' and so on are, themselves the subject of debate. What is offered below is a starting point for an understanding of their meaning. It may be relevant to separate these out as separate pages or to link across to wikipedia for more.

Skills” means the ability to apply knowledge 
and use know-how to complete tasks and 
solve problems. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, skills are described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) or practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments); [1]

See also Wikipedia entry for Skill

Competence” means the proven ability to use knowledge, skills and personal, social  and/
or methodological abilities, in work or study situations and in professional and personal development. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, competence is described in terms of responsibility and autonomy. [1]

See also Wikipedia entry for Competence

Knowledge” means the outcome of the assimilation of information through learning. Knowledge is the body of facts, principles, theories and practices that is related to a field
 of work or study. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, knowledge is described as theoretical and/or factual; [1] See also Wikipedia entry for Knowledge

Learning outcomes” means statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to
 do on completion of a learning process, which are defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competence; [1] For a taught module or course there are also educational aims and objectives.

See also Wikipedia entry for Educational aims and objectives

Technical Skills/CompetenciesEdit

'Technical Skills' are the skills required to undertake a role or task. They are meant to embrace the skills of an academic or vocational area.

See also the European Qualifications Framework on the different levels of qualifications.

See also the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) on the different levels of qualifications.   

Business Skills/CompetenciesEdit

'Business Skills' is a category initially suggested as being the skills associated with doing business in a technical area, such as knowledge of Marketing, Accounting and Finance, Human Resource Management, etc.  This category may be subsumed into Technical Skills as can also be considered 'Technical Skills' in the Management and Business areas.  A cross reference may be an appropriate alternative.

Generic Skills/CompetenciesEdit

The term 'Genereic' skills is sometimes referred to as 'Transferable' skills or 'Employability' skills.  They are the non-'technical' skills required to be effective in a working or life situation.

A comparative study of the "Tuning" [2] set of generic skills [3] showed that the skills group statistically into 5 areas named as follows.  This grouping is offered only as a starting point, other more appropriate titles may be useful and different groupings can be offered.

See also the Tuning Generic Skills list for all 33 entries.

See also the Generic Skills Dictionary by the British Council.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 European Qualifications Framework Available:
  2. Gonzalez. J, “Tuning educational structures in Europe,” European Commission, 2003.
  3. Ward, A. E., “The alignment of Generic, Specific and Language Skills within the Electrical and Information Engineering discipline,” Application of the TUNING approach, Ed. EAEEIE, Nancy-Grenoble, September 2008.

Recent ActivityEdit

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