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There is a strong consensus that the world of work, and therefore corporate learning, will not be the same after the Covid crisis. Our world will be even more unpredictable and uncertainty and complexity will continue to increase. The digital transformation will accelerate. Forms of work such as home office or e-learning formats will become more and more prevalent. Many meetings will be moved online. Employees therefore need future-oriented skills.

Knowledge, qualification and competence are often used synonymously in everyday language. Skills or soft skills, knowledge in the narrower sense, or qualifications are necessary prerequisites, but not the goal of staff development. Ultimately, what counts is the ability to cope with challenges in practice in a self-organised manner and to act effectively. In the German-speaking corporate sector, the concept of competence by Erpenbeck and Heyse (2007) has become the most widely accepted.


Competences are abilities to act creatively and self-organised in open, unmanageable, complex, dynamic and sometimes chaotic situations (Self-organisation dispositions).

soft skills

Fig. Competences - more than knowledge and qualification

Competence models

Competence models that build on this concept of competence are based on the Principle of self-organisation. Models designed in this way have a long-term character and can serve as a guideline for personalised learning processes of employees in an ever more dynamically changing world of work.

Competency models are catalogues of requirements for employees in which the abilities to act in order to provide services and solve problems can be recorded and explained in a way that everyone can understand.

In the professional field, an understanding of action competence has become established which can essentially be traced back to Heinrich Roth (1971). He defined "four ...basic skills - personal, activity-related, social and methodological - which have since formed an unchallenged social science basis. We have used this structure as the basis for our competence model, which we have derived from decades of practical experience.

Our ValCom competence model® comprises these four basic competences, each of which we have subdivided into four sub-competences with a consistent action orientation. This clear structure of 16 individual competences, which is based on Erpenbeck and Heyse (2007), effectively facilitates competence assessment and targeted competence development at all levels - organisation, team and staff.


Fig. 2 ValCom competence model® according to Sauter, Sauter (2021) based on Erpenbeck, Heyse (2007)

Skills development

We adapt both the competence definitions and the action anchors used to describe the individual competences to the framework conditions, culture and language of the respective target group in workshops with experienced professionals and managers from the respective organisation, so that there is No comprehension problems more exist.

Our Competence capture software ValCom® also makes it possible to further develop existing competence models in organisations into professional recording systems with any number of competences and free choice of definitions and action anchors by administrators or learning facilitators.

Competences cannot be taught, e.g. in seminars, because they require the internalisation of emotions in real challenges. The Capacity building therefore happens in action, i.e. in work practice in the self-organised accomplishment of practical tasks or projects, Values serve as a folder for this action. Company learning concepts - corporate learning - must therefore change from externally controlled teaching concepts to learning concepts with the goal of Self-organised competence development transform.