“Not Competent” or “Not Yet Competent”?

Many RTOs have been using the term Not Yet Competent (NYC) for final assessments results where Learners have been found to be not competent in a unit.

AECP had noted that in the AVETMISS outcome identifier “Competency not achieved”, there is no mention of ‘Yet’.

30 – Competency not achieved/fail
The client has attempted all of the requirements for the assessment and has been assessed as not competent, or as not satisfying one or more of the requirements for the unit of competency or module. For example, this code would apply if a client attempted ten of ten required assessments and was assessed as not competent in one or more of the assessments. However, if a client had only attempted nine of the ten assessments, this code would not be used as the client must attempt all of the assessments in order to receive a ‘Competency not achieved/fail’ code. (Reference source: AVETMISS, Data element definitions, Edition 2.3, November 2016, page 101)

The issue was raised in LinkedIn discussions of ASQA auditor feedback that the terminology ‘Not Yet Competent’ is wrong and should not be used. The correct term for a final result should be ‘Not Competent’. AECP sought clarification from ASQA, and here is an extract from their reply.

‘Competency’ embodies the ability to transfer and apply skills and knowledge to new situations and environments. Therefore, a learner can either consistently apply the knowledge of skill to the standard of performance required in the workplace or they cannot – they are either ‘competent’ or ‘not competent’. A result of ‘competent’ in this case represents a theoretical ‘score’ of 100%.

As such, learners are required to achieve 100% competency to be deemed competent in a qualification or unit of competency. Learners will generally be given a second attempt if they are deemed not yet competent on the first attempt.

Based on the above information, RTOs should be using the terms Competent and Not Competent (NC) instead of Not Yet Competent (NYC) for final student assessment results. This may require a number changes to assessment documentation.