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Skills, Knowledge, Abilities

Definition of Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)

We have seen that training needs are often driven by big changes within an organisation and its work practices. What exactly are the required changes?

The desired changes that we look for when providing training are in relation to Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs).

Knowledge Content of technical information needed to perform adequately in the job at an acceptable level, usually obtained through formal education and on-the-job experience. This knowledge is necessary for job performance but is not sufficient on its own.
Skills A special ability or technique acquired by special training in either an intellectual or physical area. Skills can include listening, communicating, organisation, design and programming. Skills allow the individual to select the most appropriate behaviour or action to suit task requirements.
Abilities Possession of natural competencies or cognitive factors which represent the individual’s proficiencies or current stage of development. Although abilities are natural predispositions, they can be developed to generate further achievements. The ability to learn quickly, for example, may be considered as more valuable than current knowledge levels, as the ability of learning will in time generate a wealth of knowledge.

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This article is from the free online course:

Training and Development at Work: An Introduction

Coventry University