Competency Based Standards


Competency has been defined as "the ability to perform the activities within an occupation or function to the standard expected in employment" (National Competency Standards Policy and Guidelines, National Training Board 1991).

Thus, the term "competency" embodies attributes such as knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes required in professional practice.
Competency may be core, general or task-specific. Examples of core competencies are literacy, numeracy, reliability, communication skills and ability to work in teams. These are assumed to be present and are not further described in these standards.

The original CBS and draft document from 1993 (see below) concentrates on the general competencies for Medical Scientists. In contrast, task-specific competencies refer to individual disciplines (eg haematology, microbiology) - these are included in the updated 2009 document.

Although the competencies described are for Medical Scientists they are not all exclusive to this group; some, (eg. technical procedures, interpretation, clerical work) would be common to several groups, but practised in different contexts.

The 2009 Competency Based Standards listed below were revised and ratified by the Pathology Associations Council (PAC) in 2009 and again in 2013. The AACB is a member of the PAC and endorses these documents.