Essential Skill Levels

Workplace Essential Skills are described and categorized according to the tasks performed in a specific occupation or workplace process. They are measured according to levels of complexity on a scale of 1 to 5, with Level 1 being "basic tasks" and Level 5 being "advanced tasks." A complexity level is often assigned to each task performed by a worker in a specific job.

For example, a bricklayer and a travel agent both need the workplace Essential Skill of writing to effectively do their jobs. The specific form and complexity of writing, however, is different for each of these occupations. The "levels" scale takes into account the length and purpose of writing, as well as the style, structure and content of what is being written, preparation time, familiarity of content, degree of professional risk and narrowness of subject range.

A bricklayer typically requires a Level 2 in writing, as the job involves relatively less complex writing tasks including revising work orders, writing estimate sheets on the cost of materials or labour and filling out simple forms such as incident reports.  A travel agent on the other hand, generally requires a Level 4 in writing as the job involves more complex writing tasks including writing magazine articles and advertisements.

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