Core Competencies

The Community Adult Literacy Benchmarks are leveled indicators used to measure progress toward competency.

Core, or key, competencies involve a mobilization of cognitive and practical skills, creative abilities and other psychosocial resources such as attitudes, motivation and values. These competencies have particular value for their capacity to support learning throughout life.

At the centre of the framework of key competencies is the ability of individuals to think for themselves as an expression of moral and intellectual maturity and to take responsibility for their learning and for their actions. – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Definition and Selection of Key Competencies, Executive Summary 8.

Underlying the learning of essential competencies are cognitive processes. These processes are required to read, write, listen, speak and use math. They are the operations within the brain system – such as attending, reasoning and monitoring – that underlie each essential competency. Cognitive processes are usually inter-related.

The cognitive process model, first introduced by Edmund Huey, emphasizes the development of the person and has been widely accepted among academics and practitioners for the past 30 years.