Key qualification

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Key skills ( English key qualification ) is in human resources , a qualification which a person easier and faster changes in environmental conditions can handle.


In addition to the key qualifications, professional qualifications also include specialist and social skills . Like the social skills the key qualification relates to the professional - and cross-functionally usable social behavior . Key qualifications are no expertise, but also allow the competent handling with technical knowledge. The key qualification includes skills and knowledge to cope with changing environmental conditions in the workplace . The environmental conditions include the completion of tasks , social interaction with superiors , colleagues and customers , familiarization with new work content or changes to the workflow . Key qualifications should and can not replace specialist knowledge , but rather help to develop it in view of the constantly changing requirements in professional life . They are therefore initially content-neutral and are used in professional life and in interpersonal relationships .


Ralf Dahrendorf already dealt with “extra-functional qualifications” in 1956, which can be transferred to different areas of work and are not linked to special work processes . The work researcher Dieter Mertens is considered to be the founder of the concept of key qualifications, which he first presented in September 1972 at the “Third World Future Research Conference” in Bucharest. In 1974 he published the article on this in a specialist journal . Here he called for a concentration of vocational training on key qualifications. The term competence is more appropriate than the term qualification , since a qualification is something objective, but competence is understood to be an individual characteristic. Here it becomes clear that the term key qualification did not mean the technical competence itself, but the ability to adapt and transfer technical competence.

According to the definition of the Education Commission NRW (1995) are key qualifications

“[...] general skills, attitudes and knowledge elements that can be acquired, which are useful in solving problems and acquiring new skills in as many content areas as possible, so that an ability to act is created that enables individual as well as social requirements to be met . "


Key qualifications are instruments for the problem-free handling of specialist knowledge. The specialist literature lists over 850 types of key qualifications. The most important are:

Key qualifications therefore consist of a broad spectrum of overarching skills that come from both the cognitive and the affective area. These competencies can be used and transferred flexibly and innovatively in different situations and functions.

Key competencies for lifelong learning

The reference framework of the 2006 Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on key competences for lifelong learning comprises eight key competences:

  1. Mother tongue competence
  2. Foreign language competence
  3. Mathematical competence and basic scientific and technical competence
  4. Computer literacy
  5. Learning skills
  6. Social competence and civic competence
  7. Initiative and entrepreneurial competence
  8. Culture awareness and cultural expression.

Competence in reading and writing in a European high-level language is clearly assumed without further mention. One of the most important objectives of the Framework of Reference is to “identify and define the key competencies that are necessary in a knowledge society for personal development, active citizenship, social cohesion and employability ”. Each of these key competencies is assigned the same importance, as each of them could contribute to a successful life in a knowledge society.

Similar efforts to define key qualifications are also taking place in individual countries.

Both the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs and the Federal and State Commission for Educational Planning and Research Funding (BLK) called for key qualifications to be expanded to include media skills, since digital media are becoming increasingly popular in society.


Key competencies can be classified as skills (in a possible categorization) in five competence areas:

  1. Action competence
  2. Media literacy
  3. Methodological competence
  4. Self-competence
  5. Social competence

The individual components of key competencies can be defined as follows:

Social competence

Knowledge, skills and abilities that enable you to act appropriately in relationships with people

Methodological competence

Knowledge, skills and abilities that make it possible to cope with tasks and problems by enabling the selection, planning and implementation of meaningful solution strategies

Individual competence / personal competence / personal competence / human competence

Skills and attitudes that express the individual attitude towards the world and especially towards work. Personality traits that are not only important in the work process

Action competence

The intersection of these three areas of competence is the individual competence of a person. In this context, competence means the ability of a person to behave appropriately depending on the situation, to solve problems independently , to perform certain services and to deal with other people appropriately on the basis of a successful learning process. Competence is always individual and is acquired through the acquisition and reflection of individual, mutually influencing skills related to one's own values ​​and goals.

  • the disposition to acquire all skills
  • the cognitive control system with which actions can be generated
  • stable, universally applied and empirically imperceptible deep structure

Media literacy

Media literacy is about people being able to contribute as mature and reflective citizens in today's knowledge society. Digital and analog media need to be under consideration of

  • analysis
  • selection
  • rating
  • layout
  • use

can be used.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ralf Dahrendorf, Industrial Skills and Social Stratification , in: Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 1956, pp. 542 ff.
  2. Gerhard P. Bunk / Manfred Kaiser / Reinhard Zedler, Key Qualifications: Intention, Modification and Realization in Vocational Education and Training , in: Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Vol. 24, Issue 2, 1991, p. 366
  3. ^ Dieter Mertens, Key Qualifications. Theses for training for a modern society , in: Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, 7th year, 1974, pp. 36–43
  4. ^ Dieter Mertens, Key Qualifications. Theses on training for a modern society , in: Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, 7th year, 1974, p. 40
  5. ^ Education Commission North Rhine-Westphalia (ed.): Future of Education - School of the Future . Luchterhand, Neuwied 1995, ISBN 3472024984 .
  6. ^ Dieter Mertens, Key Qualifications. Theses on training for a modern society , in: Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, 7th year, 1974, p. 36
  7. Dieter K. Reibold / Sabine Regier, Training of Key Qualifications in School and Work , 2009, p. 92
  8. Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council of December 18, 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning (2006/962 / EC) (PDF)
  9. ↑ Laying the foundations for lifelong learning , European Commission