Inquire Competence for Better Practice and Assessment (iComPass)

Society and its institutions depend entirely on specialized expertise. The inquire Competence for better Practice and Assessment (iComPAss) project has been an NFR supported competence project in which all partners were involved in the implementation of the project. As a competence project, the starting point was the organisations' need for expertise; in this case, the Master's  in Organisation and Management at HVL (formerly the College of Sogn- og Fjordane) and decision makers in Fire and Rescue Services at Sotra Fire Protection IKS. Both organisations wanted to raise the quality of their training, to find methods to identify competency needs, and to develop methods and supporting technology that could provide a better overview of existing training and identified competency needs. NORCE and UiB have developed a method for identifying comptence needs and investigated the analysis and visualisation of comptence overviews. Three Masters students at UiB have developed apps to support aspects of firefighter training. In addition, Enovate AS has participated and further developed an existing product and developed a prototype for a data collection tool.


Learning for emergency response personnel is high stake! Smoke diving training is challenging as the training leader cannot see what is going on inside the house -- iComPAss has developed the fireTracker app that visualises the movement of smoke divers in the smoke filled house.

Results from iComPAss include:

  • Identifying Competence Needs: Inquiring Practice, a method for identifying competence needs and developing a skills hierarchy that includes skills and the context around the skills in an organisation.
  • Data collection tools: Readiness App, Assessment App, and fireTracker, an Indoor positioning and biosensor App for smoke diving.
  • Using the visualisation tool Highcharts, we developed visualisations of data from the assessment application, with a focus on group and individual skills. The indoor positioning app visualises smoke diver movements within a smoke filled house.
  • The project’s research partners and participating organisations developed knowledge about how data can be used to raise awareness of training and education development, and how such awareness can support the development of the organisations.
  • iComPAss partner EVOVATE has plans for commercialising some of the applications developed in the project and our method for identifying competence needs will be used in further research and in consultant work.
  • Project results from the project were disseminated to the education sector, the public sector, and the business community, which has led to new project initiation.

Identifying Competence Needs: Inquiring Practice

Access to a complete overview of the competence that an individual or groups of individuals have, such as a mix of formal requirements and informal needs, is necessary for many organisations. A main focus of iComPAss has been to investigate how technology can contribute to and support the development of an overview of the competencies identified as necessary in a professional role.

Identifying Competence Needs: Inquiring Practice  is a method for the identification of competence needs based on everyday work practices. In order to identify competence needs organisation leaders are interviewed and practitioner's everyday work is described through textual descriptions.  Skills are first identified from these descriptions and the skills and their context details are worked on in workshops with practitioners. The result is a competence map for the organisation.

Readiness App (Skretting, 2017, Skretting et al 2017)

fireTracker App (from Wake et al., 2019)

Final Report:

Hansen, C.J.S., Netteland, G., Wasson, B., Wake, J. (2019). Inquire Competence for better Practice and Assessment (iComPAss): Sluttrapport. SLATE Research Report 2019-2, Bergen, Norway: Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology (SLATE). ISBN: 978-82-93789-04-8

Selected Publications:

Hansen, C.J.S., Wasson, B., Netteland, G. & Reigem, Ø. (2018). Data Collection for LA & OLM. LASI-Nordic 2018, 24, 1-5.. Copenhagen. Denmark. 29-30. September.

Netteland, G., Wasson, B., Hansen, C. & Hirnstein, M. (2016) Learning analytics and open learning modeelling for professional competence development. Short communication NOKOBIT

Wake, J.D., Wasson, B., Bjørgen, E.P. & Heimsæter, F.V. (2019). Supporting firefighter training through visualising indoor positioning, motion and time use data. In: Z. Franco, J.J. Gonzales & J.H. Canos (Eds) Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM) Conference, 1173 - 1182. Valencia, Spain, May.

Wake, J.D., Heimsæter, F.V., Edvard, B., Wasson, B. & Hansen, C.J.S. (2018). Supporting firefighter training by visualising indoor positioning, motion detection, and time use: A multimodal approach. LASI-Nordic 2018, 29-30 August.

Wasson, Barbara; Hansen, Cecilie; Netteland, Grete (2016). Data literacy and use for learning when using learning analytics for learners. CEUR Workshop Proceedings 2016, volume1596, p. 38 -41


Project Period:

Project Period:

October 2015

June 2019

Funded By:

Research Council of Norway, FINNUT 246765/H20

Project Leader:

Barbara Wasson

Project Members:

NORCE: Barbara Wasson (20%), Cecilie Johanne Slokvik Hansen, Grete Netteland, Jo Dugstad Wake, Øystein Reigem (9 months), Marina Hirnstein (3 months); UiB: Barbara Wasson, Hans Skretting (Masters student), Edvard Pires Bjørgen (Masters student), Fredrik Vonheim Heimsæter (Masters student), Susan Bull (1 month); ENOVATE AS: Henrik von Schlanbusch, Øyvind Meistad, Lars Schlanbusch, Fredrik Jessen; Maastricht University: Jeroen Van Merrienboer; Technical University of Graz: Michael Kickmeier-Rust

Project Partners:

NORCE Technology (project leader)

University of Bergen (SLATE)

ENOVATE AS

Maastricht University (consultant)

Technical University of Graz (consultant)

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‍Visiting Address:

Vektergården, Christiesgate 13, 3rd floor

Postal Address:

University of Bergen
PO Box 7807
N-5020 Bergen, Norway