Competency-Based Evaluation Education: Four Essential Things to Know and Do

  • Cheryl Poth University of Alberta
  • Michelle Searle Queen's University
Keywords: evaluator education, competency-based learning, instructional guidance


Evaluator education must provide robust opportunities to support and assess the progressive, lifelong development of relevant knowledge and skills. If we wish to keep pace with the increasingly complex contexts in which evaluators operate, we need to better align our educational approaches with the global movement towards practice competencies guiding the profession. Key among the challenges is the lack of instructional guidance specific to a competency-based approach to evaluator education. In this practice note, we orient readers to the value of competency-based evaluation education and describe the teaching context using a systems perspective to examine the dynamic learning interactions and experiences. We advance four essential instructional features of the competency-based approach revealed by a study documenting the impacts on learning and student experiences. We conclude with lessons learned from reflecting upon our experiences during the development and implementation of a competency-based doctoral-level evaluation course to highlight the mutual benefits for learners and instructors.

Special Issue - Teaching Evaluation