Professional competence

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Under professional competence or expertise (also: expertise , expertise , expertise , expertise , expertise , English Hard Skill ) refers to the ability of labor , professional typical tasks and issues the theoretical job descriptions according independently and responsibly to cope. It is an action competence with corresponding contextual knowledge .


The skills and knowledge required for this mainly consist of experience , understanding of subject-specific questions and relationships , as well as the ability to solve these problems in a technically correct and target-oriented manner. A corresponding training or qualification is usually required . In the curricula of the craft educations, the term Fachkunde the associated training literature understood.

In 1995, the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs defined professional competence as "the willingness and ability, on the basis of professional knowledge and ability , to solve tasks and problems in a goal-oriented, appropriate, method-based and independent manner and to assess the result". According to this, key terms of professional competence are goal orientation, appropriateness (subject- relatedness ), methodological competence , independence and the ability to apply the situation appropriately and to evaluate results. A distinction must be made between this and methodological competence.

Expertise and expertise

The technical or specialist knowledge includes:

  • the specialist knowledge in the true sense
  • Knowledge of the dangers and risks emanating from handling the item as well as the resulting precautionary, protective measures and precautions and awareness of responsibility and liability .

Professional competence means being able to apply the relevant specialist knowledge and skills in relevant cases.

In German law, expertise is understood to be evidence of a specific subject that has been provided through a knowledge test. In contrast, there is specialist knowledge , in which only the knowledge has to be available. This does not have to be proven in an examination, see Expert # Legal context: Qualified and competent person, qualified person .

Examples of professional competence

In human resource management , professional competence (also subject competence) is understood to be the ability to deal with tasks and issues in the job - in accordance with the theoretical requirements - independently and on one's own responsibility. The skills and knowledge required for this mainly consist of experience (routine), an understanding of subject-specific issues and relationships, and the ability to solve these problems in a technically correct and targeted manner.

Proof of this professional competence is therefore essential. Evidence are e.g. B. a corresponding diploma or a successful qualification as a personnel specialist.

Many scientific subject areas require the acquisition of scientific specialist knowledge and proof of a corresponding qualification . But not only in science is technical competence a mandatory requirement for exercising the chosen profession .

The professional competence is offset by the so-called everyday competence, which is required to cope with everyday life - everyday life .

Anyone who can bake bread every day (e.g. for themselves) does not automatically have the expertise of a trained baker. The hygiene regulations to be observed by a specialist, for example, or information on the shelf life of baked goods are usually only known to those who have completed a qualified training .

Field competence

Under field competence refers to the deep knowledge in a particular field or subject. In addition to the required basic technical knowledge, this also includes further-reaching knowledge that can be used in this specific area.

Examples: Supervision in the training of certain professions. Advice on training.

Examples of expertise in specific subject areas


Expertise is necessary in all professions and is not part of general education . In human resources , it is an assessment criterion in employee evaluation . With the help of professional competence, the quality of work and thus the product quality increase , so that faulty production and fault costs can be minimized through professional competence and thus contribute to maximizing profits . If professional competence is confirmed by a third party, this can help to increase self-confidence .


  • Edmund Kösel: Modeling of learning worlds , Volume III: The development of postmodern learning cultures. A plea for a rebuilding of the school , SD, Bahlingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-00-020794-5 .
  • Christa Preissing, et al .: Berlin educational program for the education, upbringing and care of children in day-care facilities until they start school , Netz, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-937785-04-3 .

Individual evidence

  1. Stefanie Krapp, Culture matters! , 2004, ISBN 1-903343-41-0 , p. 60.
  2. Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK), handouts for the development of framework curricula of the KMK for job-related teaching and their coordination with federal training regulations for recognized training occupations , 1995, p. 15.