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Although the term had been used in the fields of sociology, literary criticism, and linguistics, it was not until the 1980s that competence entered the educational lexicon, chiefly as a result of its employment in the competence-based education and training (CBET) system, which underpinned the reform of vocational qualifications in the United Kingdom led by the National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ). In terms of its standard denotation, competence is normally connected with the satisfaction of certain criteria of action, thought, or behavior: the performance of an act or process according to generally accepted standards or evaluation principles. It is in this sense that we might speak of a competent plumber who is able to install relatively problem-free sinks or central heating systems, a competent ...

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