North Vancouver School District
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Competency Based Individual Education Plans


Competency Based Individual Education Plans (CB IEPs) are based on the BC Curriculum, which includes Core Competencies and Curricular Competencies.

The Core Competencies are sets of intellectual, personal, and social and emotional proficiencies all students need to engage in deep, lifelong learning. They are intended to support academic learning and foundational skill building, as well as help students develop into well-rounded individuals. 

The Core Competencies are often interconnected, foundational to all learning, and an integral part of the curriculum. Students develop Core Competencies when they are engaged in the “doing" – the Curricular Competencies – within a learning area.

Curricular Competencies are the skills, strategies and processes that students develop over time. While these competencies are more subject-specific, they are also connected to the core competencies. Together, they are key to the development of the whole person.​

The Three Core Competency Areas


The Communication competency encompasses the knowledge, skills, processes, and dispositions we associate with interactions with others. Through their communication, students acquire, develop and transform ideas and information, and make connections with others to share their ideas, express their individuality, further their learning, and get things done. The Communication competency is fundamental to finding satisfaction, purpose, and joy.


The Thinking competency encompasses the knowledge, skills, and processes we associate with intellectual development. It is through their competency as thinkers that students take subject-specific concepts and content and transform them into a new understanding. Thinking competence includes specific thinking skills as well as habits of mind, and metacognitive awareness. These are used to process information from a variety of sources, including thoughts and feelings that arise from the subconscious and unconscious mind and from embodied cognition, to create new understandings.

Personal and Social

The Personal and Social competency is the set of abilities that relate to students' identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society. Personal and social competency encompasses what students need to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world.

Key Features of the Competency Based IEP

Competency Based IEPs are

  • strengths-based and student-centred – focusing on what the learner can do
  • representative of growth-based continuums that include all learners
  • based on Universal Design principles that focus on accessibility to support inclusion
  • aligned with the same curriculum as peers
  • more inclusive of family and student input; they are worded from the student's point of view
  • developed with goals and objectives that target areas of growth
  • written and managed by a school-based case manager
  • reviewed each year
  • the same, province-wide

Given the competencies are on a developmental continuum, all students are included, but students may be at different stages in different areas. For example:

  • A student may be working on expanding social communication using a talking board to share an idea with a friend while another student may be working on social communication by learning to give and receive feedback about a project with a group of peers. 
  • A student may be using a picture exchange system while another student may be developing their ability to ask and respond to questions in a job interview.

The Competency Based IEP Development Process 

The Competency Based IEP development process is intended to be:

  • student centred with the creation of a Student and Learning Profile that includes the voice of the learner
  • reflective of the learner's strengths, interests and needs
  • developed with consultation and collaboration, and starts with the learner. It incorporates multiple voices including the student, family, school staff and the larger team.