T&D: Performance Tests Demonstrate Performance Capability

What Level of Proof Do You Need?

Demonstrated Knowledge – or Demonstrated Ability to Perform?


In The Design of a Lesson – or whatever you call this level in your Design/Content hierarchy – the Test for me is also Practice & Feedback.

Practice & Feedback are in reality a series of Tests. Eventually it stops and that last one was the Final Test. Until one gets back on-the-job. There the Testing continues.

But what kind of Test? Awareness, Knowledge Skill or Performance Competence?


The 3 types of Performance Test in that graphic above are detailed further in this book, from 2007, that is available as a FREE PDF, a Kindle and as a Paperback.

Have it your way.


For our clients in 1987 and in 1994 – both their Performance Tests were the criteria to be met for getting a Pay Raise – for over 20 job classifications – via their intended Pay Progression Programs. We were the third attempt by that 1987 client at Prudhoe Bay.

The prior efforts were all about paper-and-pencil tests (it was 1987) – and Oil Field Roughnecks don’t like paper-and-pencil tests – so those efforts failed. Oil Field Roughnecks are like most other jobs and people, they’d rather just do the job to prove that they could do the job.

All of that is explained in the book.

If you think about it – you’ll understand that “if you have everyone by the wallet, you have their attention.”

And that is exactly how we wanted it – for our methods were/are all about engaging the Master Performers – in a Facilitated Group Process – for accelerated accuracy and completeness – to focus on terminal performance – and to demonstrate Performance versus Knowledge.

We had a high level skeptical participation – which was cool. That again is what we wanted.

Get the book. Whether or not you need to set up a company-wide Pay Progression Program – or just want to focus on Performance Beyond Knowledge.


Employee performance-based Qualification/Certification Systems is also available as a $15 Paperback book – and $7.50 as a Kindle – for more and to order – please go – here.

Early reviews for Performance-based Employee Qualification/Certification Systems” – 2007

Darlene Van Tiem:

Svenson and Wallace provide a definitive guidebook complete with sound advice and a wealth of examples, covering everything you need to establish and sustain a successful qualification/certification system!

Joe Durzo:

This whole book is like a road map to unexplored territory. Some practitioners have been there before but left no maps to guide those who follow. You have mapped out a complex territory that has had little systematic attention but which is very important.

This book is a very useful contribution to the practice of performance development and improvement. Most of the professional literature focuses on elements of the system—test development, feedback, etc. and NOT on the design and management of a whole-company approach to qualification and certification. Most of the really difficult issues are not in the individual blades of grass, but are in the overall landscape which you describe so well.

This book should be required reading for anyone who is venturing out for the first time to create a qualification/assessment/certification system.

Anita Augustine:

I like the questions approach used at the beginning and end of each chapter. I very much like the preface. It “sets” the book well regarding expectations. Emphasis on project plan criticality is GOOD! For some reason, establishing a strong agenda, for meetings, seems to be very difficult for most; these samples should be most helpful! The case studies are strong and I’m glad you incorporated those; most helpful. I really liked the work overall; it is thorough and well done.

Mark Graham Brown:

Thanks for sending me the book! You guys have done an amazing amount of work to document all this stuff and present it using beautiful pages. It looks very professional.

If the goal is to give someone step-by-step directions on how to design, develop, and maintain such a system, there is a lot of great detail here. Chapter 1 is interesting reading, addresses key questions a reader should have, and is clearly written. The book is clearly based on some valuable real-world experience. The Alaska examples are good case studies. The book is a great documentation of the process and lessons learned on these two projects.

Louise Leone:

In my opinion the first few chapters are written in a way that does interest people like myself. I think you guys have done a nice job in grabbing the audience early.

Jim Russell:

I like the 9 part cover diagram! Clear, simply written, easy to follow. The book format and layout look good – eye appeal! Excellent introductory chapters. Chapters 3-6 provide a good overview of the system. Chapters 7-10 provide more detail about the system. Excellent lists and tables. You’ve hit the target and are on the mark!

John Swinney:

This is a manual for building a bullet-proof, performance-based qualification and certification system. As complex as a project of this magnitude could be, this book provides the fundamental “how to.”

Very well done! I like the conversational style. You’ve taken a relatively complex and detailed process but have handled describing it with plain business language. The one thing I really like about all the work you guys have done together is that you are always aware of the needs of the business at every point of the process.

The project plan for the TMC Stores case study is worth the price of admission. It provides very good picture of how it all comes together. Nice addition! If I was charged with that responsibility, this book is where I’d start! Given the book as the operating guide, I think I could take the project plan and begin to do it!

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