There are a lot of people who are entranced by this concept of competence. They revere this idea. Somehow the highest ideal in their lives is to become competent. In dong so they then tick off having acquired a “competence”.
This is the stuff of mediocrity. Being competent is to achieve the generally accepted standard of performance – no more. Ultimately competence is simply about conformance.
You require skill to become competent – certainly – but the real mark of the skilled, is that they are beyond this simple measure. If another standard of competence emerges they are capable to modifying and adjusting their performance to match the new standard required.
Being skilled means the ability to adjust, to adapt in response to changing needs and contexts. Skill implies capability, rather than competence, proficiency and, at the highest levels of skills, we can speak of mastery.
The idea that this higher level of skill can be achieved though simple education and training interventions is unspeakably naive. Such skills require the engagement, persistence, and above all, practice.