What are the Instructor Competencies for Face-to-Face, Online, and Blended Settings?

Instructor Competencies

*** Content in this post is outdated as IBSTPI has made changes. Please see our updated post***

What does it take to be a competent instructor? That question has been asked a multitude of times and today’s perspective takes into consideration the face-to-face environments that most instructors and facilitators know (the physical classroom and on-the-job training scenarios), as well as virtual facilitated (synchronous) learning, and blended settings.

Validating Instructor CompetenciesCompetence is the ability of an individual to do a job successfully and efficiently. Great work developing and validating instructor competencies has been done by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction (ibstpi). These competencies also match well with competency models developed by the Institute for Performance and Learning (I4PL) and the Association for Talent Development (ATD).

Why Competencies:

Why Instructor Competencies?Competencies are useful reference points for instructors to compare themselves to a model which helps identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. The identification of these gaps can become the focus for individual learning and performance improvement plans.

Friesen, Kaye and Associates (FKA) is a thought-leader in workplace learning and performance; recognized for excellence as a trusted learning partner for its Train-the-Trainer programs. Our delivery programs which include Instructional Techniques; Advanced Facilitation Skills for Instructors; Instructional Techniques for the Virtual Classroom; Instructional Techniques for On-the-Job Training; Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+); and Certified Technical Trainer Bootcamp are all based on the instructor competencies identified by ibstpi, as well as work by ATD and I4PL.

There are five general domains which include 18 instructor competencies, supported by 98 performance statements.


  1. Professional Foundations
  2. Planning and Preparation
  3. Instructional Methods and Strategies
  4. Assessment and Evaluation
  5. Management

A closer look at each domain identifies the specific instructor competencies. A competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the identification, evaluation and behaviors of the individual, in this case, instructors.

Professional Foundations:

  • Competency 1: Communicate effectively
  • Competency 2: Update and improve one’s professional knowledge and skill
  • Competency 3: Comply with established ethical and legal standards
  • Competency 4: establish and maintain professional credibility

Planning and Preparation:

  • Competency 5: Plan instructional methods and materials
  • Competency 6: Prepare for Instruction

Instructional Methods and Strategies:

  • Competency 7: Stimulate and sustain learner motivation and engagement
  • Competency 8: Demonstrate effective presentation skills
  • Competency 9: Demonstrate effective facilitation skills
  • Competency 10: Demonstrate effective questioning skills
  • Competency 11: Provide clarification and feedback
  • Competency 12: Promote retention of knowledge and skills
  • Competency 13: Promote transfer of knowledge and skills
  • Competency 14: Use media and technology to enhance learning and performance

Assessment and Evaluation:

  • Competency 15: Assess learning and performance
  • Competency 16: Evaluate instructional effectiveness


  • Competency 17: Manage an environment that fosters learning and performance
  • Competency 18: Manage the instructional process through the appropriate technology

Each of the 18 competencies identified are supported by four to six performance statements that address the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are relevant to the demonstration of that instructor competency. For example:

Competency 1: Communicate effectively

  • Use language appropriate to the audience, context and culture
  • Use appropriate verbal and nonverbal behavior
  • Seek and acknowledge diverse perspectives
  • Use active listening skills according to context
  • Use appropriate technology to communicate

For a full list of performance statements for each of the 18 Instructor competencies, please contact fka@fka.com (Currently being revised).

For more information on FKA’s delivery programs, visit our website https://fka.com/delivery-and-facilitation-programs/

FKA PresidentMichael Nolan