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Occupational Analysis

An occupational analysis is intended to identify the major competencies and technical skills and personal competencies needed by expert workers to perform their jobs. An occupational analysis is sometimes conducted using the DACUM (Develop A Curriculum) process. DACUM is an effective method used to determine the tasks that must be performed by persons employed in a given job or occupational area.

The DACUM process identifies approximately 8 to 20 duty areas (Competencies) and 50 to 200 skills that outline what a successful worker in a particular job or cluster of related jobs must be able to do.

The occupation profile chart that results from an occupational analysis details the major job functions and the skills involved in the occupation or job being studied.

An occupational analysis is used to: 

  • Create descriptions for new or emerging occupational areas
  • Update existing job descriptions
  • Identify new technology competencies
  • Update existing academic programs
The Process

A carefully chosen group of 8 to 12 workers from the occupational area under consideration form the occupational analysis committee. Committee members are recruited directly from business, industry or the professions. Men and women with reputations for being the best at their jobs are selected to contribute to the process. The committee works for approximately two days under the guidance of a qualified facilitation team.

During the instructional development phase that follows the occupational analysis, the competencies undergo a task analysis to determine the specific skills, knowledge and abilities the worker needs to perform each task. The information resulting from the task analysis is then incorporated into learning outcome statements, learning activities, instructional materials and detailed assessment criteria.


Last updated on October 10, 2012