• The ability to deliver a specified professional service  
  • The total role functioning of a professional, which incorporates a number of elements or units of competence  
  • A unit of competence (a competency) is a relatively self-contained achievement and should as far as possible be complete  
  • A competency describes the outcome expectations of a particular work role and acts as a benchmark against which individual performance is judged (Uys 2003)   
  • Competence encompasses the knowledge, judgement, skills, energy, experience and motivation required to respond adequately to the demands of one’s professional responsibilities (Roach 1992; Leung et al 2016; International Confederation of Midwives, 2019) 

Holistic approach to competence (Mulcahy 2000) 

“…competence is a complex outcome, or, better perhaps, an event. 
Competence development in its ‘richest’ sense involves a number of processes – discursive and material – which are only partially assimilable.
Rather than regarding competence as something individuals or organisations have, it might be better to regard it as something that they do
(p 521).