Skills Proficiencies

IYS uses a standard four point scale with a variable measures of the scale for different categories of skills.
When we discussed the utility of the report card we also touched upon the usefulness of scores. This is quite useful indeed. Most schools (at least in India) have mark systems, mostly max being 100 for different subjects.
Scores like this makes it easy to compare performance and capabilities of different students. Imagine a situation where we have different ways of indicating performance and capabilities with some schools using grades from A to G, some marks with max 100, some with marks upto 50, some using star rating and so on. There would be chaos. There would be no way of knowing what is capability of a student vis a vis another student.
IYS uses in its Skills Profiling a four scale rating, rather a four star rating IYS researched different options and it narrowed down on four stars. Earlier we had five stars but then we realized the fallacy of five star rating in an area like capabilities. When people are making judgements by themselves on their capabilities or even when we are making judgement on others capabilities, there is the human tendency to play safe and rate in the middle when don't want to take a clear stand. The four scale rating addresses this issue. A standardization on the rating will help us in comparing and analyzing skills profiles of people and jobs very effectively. And if there is a common adoption whereby organizations such as those who do assessment rate proficiencies on four point scale, the usability of information from one organization by another would improve, improving productivity. In today's world when it comes to people and their proficiencies, because of its ease we use years of experience. We are aware of its flaws. Year of experience cannot be construed to mean that the proficiency of two people with same years of experience have same level of proficiencies on all skills. We may have an Architect whose proficiency level is 4 on software architecture but may not even have the skills in programming in a new language. Whereas a young engineer may have proficiency level of 4 on programming in this language. But have zero proficiency in architecting.
In proficiencies we next come to scale or measure of proficiencies in different skills areas. Clearly measures cannot be same. Measures on knowledge, for example cannot be used in domain experience. Similarly what is applicable for a sports area or creative area cannot be applied to engineering area. IYS has researched how people indicate capabilities and proficiencies in different areas and has tailored the legends for the scale for different areas. Note: From a different perspective, we really do not need to get into semantics on the legends on the scale. Today there is a sort of universally common understanding on what level to rate. On a daily basis we are rating food, food delivery, books, movies, cab service quality, mostly on a five point scale. We do not need to be provided with legend for the five levels. We have a sense of when to rate 4 or 3 or 5 for a particular food. Now we come to the most tricky and tough part - measuring skills proficiencies. IYS does not measure or assess proficiencies on the 100,000 skills across 32 categories. There are different ways we could handle this. Lets go back to our report cards in schools. It has subjects for which the proficiencies are based on marks in the exams conducted. Then there are grades given for different behaviors observed like friendliness, communication. The former can be considered objective and the latter subjective. (Actually even the first is not fully objective. Different teachers could given different marks for the same answer to question.) We cannot have a high level of objectivity to proficiency for different skills in different occupations. We could have, however, different ways to get assessments based on the purpose for which the assessments are done and the viability of such assessments in today's world. Sites like Upwork collect feedback on a five point scale when a project is completed. This is useful when we are considering a freelancer for our project. We can look at the previous scores the freelancers was given. This is sort of customer feedback
Manager or Supervisor's feedback can be useful. After all they are the one's assigning jobs to reportees, and are supposed to be observing and guiding their reportees. This has its flaws such as subjectivity but cannot be ruled out as a way to get proficiencies. Interviews are a reality. Interviews in turn mean subjectivity of the interviewers. Then we could have peer feedback where we have colleagues and peer give feedback and rating on proficiencies in skills. This is useful where people know the feedback seeker and have worked closely with him or her. Then we have assessments, mostly but not always quantitative. This is useful for areas like Aptitude and Programming. We also have in the behavioral areas Assessment Centers mostly used for assessing Managerial or Leadership capabilities. IYS, in its applications uses the skills profiler and and layer on top of it for getting feedback or assessment using some of the methods stated above.