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What's the difference between "knowledge," "competence," "performance" and "patient outcomes"?

Accredited providers are required to understand the issues with knowledge or competence or performance that underlie a professional practice gap. 

The first definition that’s important for the ACCME to share is that our use of competence is in the educational measurement term. Competence is about ability. Competence is what you would do if you could do it. It’s descriptive of strategy. Competence is knowledge put into action; put into action by the learner.

You put competence into action. You put it into practice — that’s performance. Performance implies in practice.

Outcome, patient outcome, research outcome, executive outcome, administrative outcome — those are the consequences in the system, in your stakeholder, in the place of application of your performance. You measure those to determine the impact of the educational intervention.

Does it matter if you call it performance and we call it competence or vice-versa? No. It doesn’t matter. What we want you to do is to understand those differences so that you know that measuring in practice is different than asking people what they would do if they could. Those are two different things. We call one performance, we call one competence. What we want you to do is decide what it is you want to measure as a result of the educational activity. Do you want to measure their strategy, what they would do if they could? Do you want to measure them in practice? Do you want to measure the consequences of their actual performance in practice? And you measure that. And you can call it what you want: competence, performance or outcome. That’s not what’s important. It’s that you recognize that there are differences between them.