Skill contextualisation

Skill contextualisation is a method to create knowledge or skill and competence concepts by analysing how transversal skills, competences or knowledge are applied in the specific context of a sector or an occupation. This allows bringing transversal knowledge, skills and competences which are rather abstract to a more detailed level so that they can be directly used in occupational profiles.


The skill measure is too abstract to be linked directly to the occupation shop assistant. This relationship would produce too many results if used by in competence-based job matching since measuring is relevant for a large number of occupations and sectors.

Through skill contextualisation the skill can be made more specific. A skill named measure the size of furniture could for example be used in the occupational profile of a specialised seller for furniture.

Multi-layered skills contextualisation

Skills contextualisation can use several layers of making a generic, abstract skill more specific, by putting it into an increasingly narrow context. To this end, the skills reusability levels in ESCO can be used.

Transversal skill Cross-sector skill Occupation-specific skill
measure measure the size of objects measure the size of furniture

Relationships in skill contextualisation

Skill contextualisation can be expressed in two different manners:

  • Through hierarchical relationships between a more specific skill and a more generic skill. Example: measure the size of objects is narrower than measure.
  • By expressing an which knowledge, skill and competence concept is relevant in order to develop another knowledge, skill and competence concept. Example: knowledge of furniture wood types is optional for the skill/competence advise customers on wood materials.

Skill decontextualisation

Skill decontextualisation is a method for generalising an occupation-specific knowledge, skill or competence so that it can be applied across sectors. It leads to the creation of more abstract and reusable knowledge, skill or competence concept.

In the context of judges' work: Cross-sector skills:
Settle legal disputes between opposing parties Settle disputes
Evaluate information to determine compliance with the law Evaluate compliance with standards or regulations