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DACUM CTE-334/534 Performance Analysis

DACUM DACUM, an acronym for Developing A CurriculUM

An analysis of an occupation as well as the resulting skill profile.  The skill profile includes major duties and tasks as identified by expert workers in the field.

DACUM • Read Packet “DACUM Technique” • Answer the following questions: • • • •

Define DACUM and the purpose of a DACUM Define the steps associated with conducting a DACUM Who are the people involved in a DACUM workshop? What are the advantages of using the DACUM?


DACUM Activity • Identify the major duties and tasks required for college success (grades, consecutive enrollment, ultimately graduation) • What are the duties associated with being a student • List the tasks under each duty


DACUM Based on the DACUM, is a class needed to teach students the skills needed to be successful in college?


Origin of DACUM • Started in 1961 with the Womens Job Corp program in Clinton, Iowa. • General Learning Corporation in New York and the Canadian Department of Regional Economic Expansion provided technical assistance

Original Purpose of DACUM • To produce a curriculum guide which would encourage trainee involvement in the training program for goal attainment.

Canada • Adopted by Nova Scotia NewStart Inc in 1968 to provide quick response to disadvantage youths. • Holland College in Charlottetown, used DACUM in 1969 to develop all their educational programs. • In 1970 DACUM served as the foundation for all two year colleges to develop programs in Canada.

DACUM Uses • DACUM use has spread and has been used to analyze occupations at the professional, technical, skilled, and semi-skilled levels.   • In South Carolina, the DACUM workshop is now used extensively in technical colleges in South Carolina to identify occupational competencies. • The process has been expanded to identify competencies in general education.  

Some Company Users •


Lucent Technologies

Blue Cross/Blue Shield




General electric

General Motors

James River

John Deere


United Airlines

Walt Disney

Yellow Freight



Railroad Express

Champion International

Some College and University Users • UW-Stout


• Ohio State

North Dakota State

• Ferris State

Okahoma State University

• Temple

University of Central Florida

• Bowling Green

Indiana State University

Some Country Users • Chile


• Australia

Sri Lanka

• New Zealand


• Canada


• Turkey


• Korea


• Malaysia



Uses of DACUM • This method of occupational analysis is a very effective method of quickly determining, at relatively low cost, • the competencies or tasks that must be performed by persons employed in a given job or occupational area.

• The DACUM process is used as a means of assisting program areas in acquiring • the most current, relevant, entry-level competencies or skills/tasks that must be performed by their graduates to gain employment.

Should We Teach: • What we know best? • What we were taught? • What we enjoy teaching? • What we have experience with? • What the textbook happens to include? or • What the student/worker most needs for successful employment?

Assumptions of the DACUM Technique •

Expert workers are better able to describe/define their job than anyone else,

Any job can be effectively and sufficiently described in terms of the tasks that successful workers in that occupation perform, and

All tasks have direct implications for the knowledge and attitudes that workers must have in order to perform the tasks correctly.

Graphic Representation of Job, Duty and Task JOB

Job Duties


Duties & Tasks

Duties and Tasks

Key Terms • Duties: A cluster of related tasks. • Usually 6-12 per job.

• Tasks: Specific meaningful units of work. • Usually 6-20 per duty and 75-125 per job.

• Steps: Specific elements or activities required to perform a task. • Always two or more per task.

Job, Duty, Task, and Step Examples • Job: Homeowner • Duty: • Task: • Step:

Maintaining the yard Mow the lawn Start the mower

• Job: Homemaker • Duty:

Prepare meals

• Task: Bake Cookies • Step: Mix ingredients

DACUM Process Involves 1. Commitment of the institution or agency to competency-based instruction; 2. Selection of an occupation to be described, selection of a panel of expert practitioners in that occupation, and a selection of a skilled facilitator to work with the panel; 3. Development of a DACUM chart by the facilitator and panel in a one or two-day workshop.

Duty Statement Guidelines • Describe large areas of work in performance terms. • Serve as a title for a cluster of related tasks • Consist of one verb, an object, and a qualifier. • Are general, not specific, statements of the work that is performed. • Stand alone • Avoid references to work behaviors, tools, and knowledge needed.

Task Statements Components of task statements •Verb - first person, singular, active voice • e.g., select, prepare, maintain, develop, determine

•Object - the thing acted upon by the worker • e.g., reports, equipment, records, customers

•Qualifier - words or phrases used to modify and clarify the task statement. • e.g., record health history; develop a financial plan; bake oatmeal raisin cookies; weed the flower garden.

Job Task Criteria • Represent the smallest unit of job activity with a meaningful outcome. • Result in a product, service, or decision. • Represent an assignable unit of work. • Have a definite beginning and ending point. • Can be observed and measured. • Can be performed over a short period of time. • Can be performed independent of other tasks. • Consist of two or more steps.

Task Statement Criteria • Describe a task in performance terms

Are meaningful by themselves • not dependent upon the duty or other tasks

• Should have a single action verb and an object that receives the action

• Contain one or more relevant qualifiers

Avoid references to worker behaviors needed

Avoid references to tools and equipment

• Are explicitly stated -crystal clear

Avoid references to the knowledge needed

DACUM Procedural Steps •

Orient the committee

Review the job/occupation

Include duties

Identify specific tasks performed

List • • • •

General knowledge and skill requirements of the job Worker behaviors (desirable attitudes and traits) Tools, equipment, supplies and materials Future trends/concerns

Review/refine task and duty statements

Sequence the task and duty statements

Other options as desired

DACUM Process • Verification of the contents of the DACUM chart by other experts not on the panel; and • Translation and application of the DACUM chart to instructional strategies, materials, and evaluation instruments.  

The DACUM Workshop • Usually conducted in a one-day or two-day setting.    • It is an effective way to quickly determine, at relatively low cost, the competencies or tasks that must be performed by persons in a given job or occupational area; i.e. efficient, effective, and relatively low-cost.    • Workshop participants include a panel of occupational experts, a facilitator, and a recorder.

Process • The panel works under the guidance of a facilitator to develop or validate the DACUM chart.   • Modified small-group brainstorming techniques are used to obtain the collective expertise and consensus of the panel.   • A carefully chosen group of 10-12 experts from the occupational area form the DACUM panel.  

Panel Members • Panel members are recruited directly from business, industry, or the professions.   • Panel participants do not need to make any advance preparations.   • Effective members possess the following traits:   • • • • • • •

technical competence full-time employment occupational representative ability to communicate ability to cooperate as a team member freedom from bias, and commitment to participate in the entire process.


DACUM Committee Carefully guided through each of the following steps by the facilitator: 1. Orientation 2. Review of job or occupational area description 3. Identification of general areas of job responsibility (duties) 4. Identification of specific tasks performed in each duty area

DACUM Committee 5. Review and refinement of duty and task statements 6. Sequencing of task and duty statements 7. Identification of entry-level tasks 8. Other options, such as equipment lists.

DACUM Product • The product is the DACUM profile, which is a detailed and graphic portrayal of the skills or competencies of the occupation.   • The chart is produced in a matrix format and describes the occupation in terms of broad and specific competencies, skills, and tasks.

Uses of DACUM The contents of the chart represent the consensus of the expert panelists who have authorship rights to the chart.    The DACUM profile can be used as a basis for • curriculum development • student learning • training needs assessments, and  • worker performance evaluations.

Uses of the DACUM Chart 1. Organize instruction by general areas of competence and associated skills.        2. Recruit students by describing the occupation in manageable and achievable goals.      3. Assess student skills by using the chart to identify prior skill, career, and/or life experiences for entering students.        

Uses 4. Evaluate performance on an ongoing (formative) "report card" basis and at the end of instruction (summative) "program transcript." 5. Update advisory committees by identifying specific skills/tasks, tools/equipment, and related requirements for the program.       6. Plan return to industry by helping faculty set criteria for update visits, observations, and equipment acquisition.  

Employers may use the profile on the job to: 1. Describe job functions by identifying general areas of competence and related on-the-job tasks or skills. 2. Evaluate performance of employees by providing supervisors and workers with a skills profile or checklist. 3. Update job descriptions for current or new employees in response to actual performance needs.

Employer uses 4. Supervise employees on the basis of on-the-job performance of tasks and skills identified in the job profile. 5.

Identify training or retraining needs by assessing updates in identified job tasks and skills as well as for cross training.


Identify job applicants by providing a skills profile as the basis for discussion and explanation of expected skills and proficiency.


REFERENCE O’Banion, T. and Associates. Teaching and Learning in the Community College. Washington, D.C.: The American Association of Community Colleges, 1994.

DACUM process