What is CBE? Guide To Competency-Based Education | CBE vs OBE

what is competency based education

Updated On | 13, December 2021

“The faculty and students share ownership of the learning outcomes; the students assume responsibility for their learning, and the faculty assumes responsibility for providing appropriate resources for that learning.” ― Tina Goodyear

There’s a famous adage –“Books are our best friends.”

When it comes to the major goals of any educational institution, maximizing the – “Student Learning Outcomes” is on priority.

However, the outcomes are dependent on a lot of factors.

The primary factor is – the quality of education!

So, to enhance students’ outcomes and help them to develop skills, it’s mandatory for the institutions to continuously evaluate their teaching-learning strategies, modify the content, and deliver competency-based education!

As an educator, if you want complete information on what is CBE, this blog will serve you as a complete guide.

Let’s first understand the concept of competency-based education and how competency-based education software can help you in achieving the best learning outcomes for your institution.

What is Competency-Based Education (CBE)?

Competency-based education (CBE) is an educational approach in teaching, learning, and assessment for better learning outcomes from an institute. It is aimed towards gaining knowledge and expertise in particular competencies in each subject taken by the student. It empowers the students to take account of their learning and provides them with a meaningful and positive learning experience.

This unique approach is outcome-based and enables educators to help students develop knowledge, values, and become lifelong learners even after the attainment of their degree.

Therefore, the definition of CBE in simple words would be an educational model that prioritizes the overall development of students.

What is the Need for Competency-Based Education (CBE)?

The traditional way of learning can’t stand the needs of today’s students.

The theoretical knowledge may help students understand any concept. But in the real world, they need to have a “go-getter” attitude; sharp mindset, and skills or competencies that can help them achieve their goals.

The industries demand brilliant students that can stand out in the crowd, be an asset for their organization, and deliver “nothing but the best”.

In a nutshell, competency-based programs help in-

  • Prepare students for future
  • Meeting the needs & standards of various diverse organizations
  • Increase employability ratio

Key Features of Competency-Based Education (CBE)-

  • Ensures equity for all students irrespective of their educational backgrounds.
  • Offers different support to every student as required by them.
  • Progress of the student is purely measured on the skills and knowledge gained by them.
  • Students are encouraged to assess themselves and understand their progress and shortcomings to take accountability for the results.

What are the major aspects of Competency-Based Education (CBE)?

what is competency based education

Curriculum Design

The syllabus should be designed in such a way that it focused more on outcomes such as skill development, hands-on experience, and applications that will help the students in future .

what is competency based education


The students can learn the syllabus and gain knowledge according to their ways and pace and the teacher should guide them through their journey

what is competency based education


The assessment is based on the skills developed by the students and their application in the real world rather than marks scored in the exams

Outcome-Based Education (OBE) V/S Competency-Based Education (CBE)

As CBE education surpasses the traditional method of teaching-learning and focuses on outcomes, its nature is quite similar to outcome-based education (OBE).

However, the main factors that depict the difference between OBE Vs Competency-Based Education (CBE) are –

1. Developing Competency

The students are encouraged to develop logical thinking rather than mugging up the theoretical knowledge.

2. Skills-Based Assessments

The assessments are designed to measure the skills of students. It can be achieved with competency-based tools.

3. Fair Mindset

The students that learn by the CBE method are encouraged to have a fair mindset and perform their work with ethical means.

4. Life-Long Learner

A fair attitude & logical thinking helps students overcome any problem later in their life and not just restricted to a career.

5. Various Faculty

Various faculties like Healthcare, Nursing, etc can reap the benefits of CBE-based learning.

Let’s now move on to the benefits of competency-based education to clearly understand why it is being considered as an excellent educational approach worldwide.

Why to Choose Competency-Based Education (CBE)?

  • For Students
  • Competency Based Education helps the students to focus on one subject and develop skills rather than just completing the syllabus. The student can take as much time required studying the subject and making sure of gaining expertise in the field.

  • For Institutes
  • CBE helps the institutes by enabling them to bring diversity in offering courses. The courses and syllabus are more aligned with the industry requirements hence increasing job placements and internship opportunities in the institute.

  • For Industry
  • The employers can search and find students with the exact skill sets as required in the company. This encourages good collaboration among the institutes and industries with an assurance of great talent being employed in the companies.

5 Benefits of Competency-based Education (CBE) for Student?

I have already explained some of the key benefits of CBE while comparing the OBE system with CBE. However, the benefits are numerous. The following list depicts the best benefits of competency-based education.

#1: Flexible Self-paced Learning

In traditional educational methods, students need to learn as per their schedule & timetable set by the teachers.

This is not the case with the CBE!

The CBE education enables students to learn at their own pace & thus provides better flexibility of education. Being a teacher, you can define various competencies before the beginning of the session & then track students’ progress throughout.

#2: Practical Experience

No theoretical knowledge!

CBE approach totally focuses on providing practical & logical solutions to students. It helps them understand real-world problems & then develop a mindset to solve them.

You can define various assessments & curriculum patterns to serve the purpose.

This is one of the best benefits of competency-based education!

LMS software integrated with e-learning facilities, e-content and interactive assessments can simplify your journey.

#3: Personalized Teaching-learning

As a teacher, you can track students’ progress with the help of competency-based education software.

Right from the students’ best areas to their weaknesses & skills progress; you can get an in-depth overview of everything on a single dashboard.

You can keep a tab on competencies and help students attain the next level with personalized training.

#4: Clear Communication with Mentors

Depending on the level of students’ outcomes, you can assign them various mentors that can take care of different competencies.

For instance, you can assign a teacher that will take care of 40-50 students and mentor them throughout their learning journey. It will further help students to clearly communicate their difficulties and make progress.

#5: Global Edge to Careers

The competency-based education advocates the skills-upgrading that in return would help them gain a leading edge in their careers on a global platform.

Thus, the CBE helps in creating the best employability opportunities for your students.

Competency-Based Education Software for Hassle-free Journey

The journey of CBE education can be streamlined & simplified with the help of educational ERP software that could track & manage the students learning outcomes. As an educator, you must opt for software that effectively integrates the concept of CBE.

It will save your efforts & time to a great extent while ensuring the best educational practices.

Be it the task of generating precisely accurate students’ performance reports or managing their records, CBE software is all you need!

How can MasterSoft help you in Competency-Based Education?

MasterSoft is a highly trusted ERP solution company that offers education management and operations software for the institutes. It provides a learning management system to handle student data, track student performance, implement new teaching methods, and focus on better learning outcomes.

Do reach out to our team of ERP experts to know more about educational ERP software!

Implement the highly advanced Learning Management System and improve Learning Outcomes of your Institute.

Book a Demo!

Mobile: 08448010216

Email: janki.somani@iitms.co.in

FAQs On Competency-Based Education


Competency-based education (CBE) is an educational approach for teaching, learning, and assessment which focuses on outcomes and skills gained by the students. It puts the main focus on the learner and engages them in learning activities.

  • Encourages personalized learning among students
  • Improves transparency and clarity among students
  • Encourages a culture of regular assessment
  • Students take responsibility for their learning
  • Self Awareness- Understanding one’s own self and recognizing personal emotions
  • Self Management- Ability to manage behaviors and emotions
  • Social Awareness- Understanding other’s feelings and perspectives
  • Relationship Skills- Being able to maintain and manage relationships
  • Responsible Decision Making- Being confident in taking personal and academic decisions
Prashant Borkar

Prashant Borkar,
Academic Consultant

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