Development of a competency mapping tool for undergraduate professional degree programmes, using mechanical engineering as a case study

David W. Holmes, Madoc Sheehan, Melanie Birks, John Smithson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Mapping the curriculum of a professional degree to the associated competency standard ensures graduates have the competence to perform as professionals. Existing approaches to competence mapping vary greatly in depth, complexity, and effectiveness, and a standardised approach remains elusive. This paper describes a new mapping software tool that streamlines and standardises the competency mapping process. The available analytics facilitate ongoing programme review, management, and accreditation. The complete mapping and analysis of an Australian mechanical engineering degree programme is described as a case study. Each subject is mapped by evaluating the amount and depth of competence development present. Combining subject results then enables highly detailed programme level analysis. The mapping process is designed to be administratively light, with aspects of professional development embedded in the software. The effective competence mapping described in this paper enables quantification of learning within a professional degree programme, and provides a mechanism for holistic programme improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-143
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • assessment
  • cognitive development
  • Competence mapping
  • mechanical engineering
  • professional standard

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