Sponsoring Society and Standards Committee: IEEE Computer Society/ Learning Technology Standards Committee (C/LTSC)

Title: P1484.20.2 Recommended Practice for Defining Competencies

IEEE 1484.20.2 Recommended Practices for Defining Competencies was developed to promote a common understanding for those involved in defining policies, standards, and data structures for competency definitions and frameworks. It discusses various approaches for developing competency definitions and frameworks and incorporates and promotes the principles of ethical development, definition, documentation, and reuse of competency definitions and frameworks. However, these recommended practices cannot replace the role of experts who have developed specific domain expertise that is invaluable to organizations developing specific competency definitions and frameworks. Ths Standard is in the process of being released and is expected to be available by the end of 2022. This Standard will be available from the IEEE for a fee.


Competency-based education, training, and workforce development is essential to embrace and develop the new skills required for the future of work. A common vocabulary, and recommended practices, are required to help stakeholders develop and communicate competency definitions. Common, shareable competency definitions enable systems, courseware, assessments, and learning tools to interoperability reference the same competencies so that, for example, learner records can be meaningfully transported from one system to another and from one organization to another. The quality of the information in these competency definitions has an impact on competency-based education, training, and workforce development.

The stakeholders include policymakers, educators, awarding bodies, employers, and labor unions. Contributors and consumers of this standard will include curricular designers, designers of learning content, credentials designers, learners, developers of academic and workforce competency frameworks, assessments developers, catalogers of learning content, educators, human resources professionals, and job boards, who need well-defined competency definition.


The first step is to keep yourself informed by subscribing to the IEEE P1484.20.2 listserv. To do this send an email to listserv@ieee.org with the following in the BODY of the email (not the subject line):

subscribe STDS-P1484-20-2 your-first-name your-last-name

When you are subscribed you will receive messages with detailed information about:

  • Kick-off meeting details
  • Working Group Meetings
  • Important milestones


You do not need to be an IEEE or IEEE SA member to actively participate in the P1484.20.2 Working Group. However, Officers of the Working Group need to have IEEE SA membership and either be an IEEE member or a member of one of the Societies. The initial steps to participate are as follows.

If you DO NOT have an IEEE account, please complete the following steps:

  1. Click here and click on Create Account (this is a free account).
  2. Check your email, and junk mail, for an email from IEEE with the link to confirm your email address and log into your freshly minted IEEE account.
  3. Add the IEEE email address to your “safe senders” list so that it doesn’t end up in “junk”

When you have created an account, or if you already have an IEEE account, please complete the following steps:

  1. Log in to the myProject system 
  2. Click on the ‘Menu‘ icon at the top right of the page
  3. From the menu select ‘Manage Profile and Interests
  4. Scroll down Group Name and click the + button for IEEE Computer Society
  5. Scroll down and click the + button for Learning Technology
  6. Scroll down to the 2nd green + (Defining Competencies) and click on the circle icon to the right (Groups I am Interested In column)
  7. On the next screen, the Participate option is automatically selected, you may change to Follow if you prefer.
  8. Click Declare Affiliations
    1. Select your Affiliation(s)
    2. Click Save
    3. Click Ok
  9. Pat yourself on the back!


Getting involved with a new group can be daunting and we are here to help. Here are some ways that we can help:

  • For help subscribing to the listserv or to learn how this group operates email Eric Shepherd at eric.shepherd@talenttransformation.com
  • For help with the IEEE website? Click on the ‘Help‘ icon at the top of the page for assistance
  • Need help understanding the IEEE, its systems and processes Vanessa Lalitte at v.lalitte@ieee.org

WG Officers

Eric Shepherd,

Vice Chair
Steven Forth,

Linda Steedman,

IEEE Program Manager
Vanessa Lalitte,