The Core Bioscience Skill Standards: Process and Philosophy

The initial draft of the Common Bioscience Skill Standards was developed by a working group of educators representing the areas of Biomanufacturing, Medical Devices, and the Biotechnology Laboratory. This group of three educators sought to identify those skills that were common to all three areas of bioscience industry. The following additional properties were also considered necessary:
  • The skill applies to entry-level technicians (e.g. those having an AS or AAS in bioscience) as opposed to those with a Masters or PhD.
  • The skill is one that industry reasonably expects an entry-level technician to have.
  • The skill is fundamental for bioscience technicians throughout the United States, regardless of local industry needs.

In addition to identification of these fundamental bioscience skills, the working group also identified performance indicators, underlying technical knowledge and assessments. The relationship between these terms is illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The specific terminology used in the Core Bioscience Skill Standards include Critical Work Function, Key Activity, Performance Indicator, Assessments, and Underlying Technical Knowledge. These terms are closely related to each other, as illustrated here. Each terms adds an additional layer of information to the skill standards by providing an answer to the associated question.

The Core Bioscience Skill Standards have undergone a number of revisions since their initial inception. Following the initial drafts, the Core Bioscience Skill Standards were shared with educators and industry representatives within the c3bc consortium. Finally, industry-wide feedback was solicited through an online survey that was widely distributed.

Figure 2. The Core Bioscience Skill Standards have been through several iterations. Following the initial draft, feedback was sought from both bioscience educators and people from industry who have experience directly supervising entry-level technicians. Revisions to the skill standards reflect input from these stakeholders.