Vol. 21 (2013)

Measuring and Certifying Skill and Competence in the Caribbean: Some Conceptual and Practical Issues

Theodore Lewis
University of Minnesota


  • Technical and Vocational Education and Training,
  • Caribbean Vocational Qualification,
  • Skills Assessment,
  • Competencies,
  • Caribbean


This article tries to look deeply at skill and competence, hoping to unearth pitfalls that might obstruct the way of those who are striving towards the development of a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) system of skills classification in the region. Aspects of the skills debate that attend the discourse on the global economy are highlighted. The problematic nature of competence is examined, especially where there is contention regarding whether or not competence can be measured. Differences between  expert and novice conceptions of tasks are explored, as are differences between techne and phronesis. Whether the ideal of phronesis is attainable across traditional crafts is considered.