Competence and PCC Approach: Opportunities and Limitations



The methodology and descriptions of professionally important qualities (PECs) of the sub- jects of activity (conventionally called the “PWC approach”) and competencies (the “com- petence approach”) are presented. It is stated that it is not constructive to resolve questions about phenomena understood as “professionally important qualities” (PEC) and “competen- cies” when compared as components of the binary opposition (... or ... or). A constructive solution can be the restoration of a whole series (continuum) of genetic transformations of the phenomenon (s), in different scientific traditions defined as “PWC”, “competence”, “abilities” (general, special, professional), etc. Both paradigms have their own capabilities and limitations. The PWC approach as a scientific paradigm is characterized by the following: extreme broad generalizations; often, the substitution of measurements and monitoring of the evolution of the STC by “judgments of common sense”; latently postulated preservation of the ICC throughout the subject’s professional life, etc. “Spontaneous opposition” to the basic principles of the ICC approach appears as a set of different, inconsistent and inconsistent points of view. K-approach as a scientific paradigm is characterized by: pragmatism of initial goals and objectives; empiricism; often the substitution of the scientific study of phenomena by the generalization of the opinions of expert practitioners; extensive approach to the study of competencies; solving issues of joint activities is presented through the expansion of the subject’s competence sets; insufficient attention to the development prospects of the qualities of the subject, his personal and professional development in the continuation of his career. The “spontaneous opposition” more often declares itself as a reasoned alternative approach, as a critic of opponents and arguing the advantages of its approach.

General Information

Keywords: professionally important qualities, competencies, abilities, approaches, paradigms, opportunities and limitations

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology of Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was supported by Russian Foundation for Humanities, project “Comprehensive study of psychological and sociocultural factors of labor productivity in enterprises of the Perm Territory”, No. 18-413-590009.

For citation: Tolochek V.A. Competence and PCC Approach: Opportunities and Limitations. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2019. Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 123–137. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2019.202. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Baidenko V. I., Oskarsson B. Bazovye navyki (kliuchevye kompetentsii) kak integriruiushchii faktor obrazovatel’nogo protsessa [Basic skills (key competencies) as an integrating factor of the educational process]. Professional’noe obrazovanie i formirovanie lichnosti spetsialista. Nauch.-metod. sbornik [Professional education and the formation of the personality of a specialist. Scientific method, collection]. Moscow, 2002. 244 p. (In Russian)

Information About the Authors

Vladimir A. Tolochek, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, leading researcher, Institute of Psychology of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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