Competency profile CMD
Communication & Multimedia Design

Using the CMD competency profile
The pictures of the new Competency list are not yet translated, so this is the Dutch version. Your mentor can provide an English version if needed.
We do have a nice presentation of how to study at CMD and it includes the competency profile.

It can be found here: How to get 30 EC

Studying at the Department of Communication & Multimedia Design (CMD) may be somewhat different from what you’re used to. Key concepts are: communities, competencies, on-demand learning, project-based and practice-directed learning. It is you and your own individual study path that stand at the centre of all this.

What am I getting into?

Year 1 (propedeutic year): In the introduction week you’ll get to choose your own mentor and project group. Such a group usually consists of 5 to 6 students. With this mentor group you’ll find yourself in a community. In the post-propedeutic phase it’s the minors that constitute the communities. Each community has its own location within the school building and its own teacher who organizes community meetings and keeps the community informed of departmental affairs.

What you need to know about competencies

As we said earlier the ways of CMD are different from those of other courses. Studying here does not mean filling up your head with dry information; instead you go looking for relevant knowledge that is immediately applicable in your current project. During the course you won’t be sitting knowledge tests, you won’t do any mandatory reading. Here at CMD we work with competencies. Briefly, being competent means not only having knowledge about something, but also being able to work with it and adopting the right attitude to get the best out of it. A competency therefore, is a combination of knowledge, skills and attitude. CMD students work at 10 competencies which together form the CMD competency profile. Each competency in its turn knows three levels (basic, advanced, expert)

What is meant by on-demand learning?

At CMD you decide yourself what you want to learn: we call that on-demand learning. What you need to know and need to do is not the teachers’ decision. On the contrary, the idea is for you to discover for yourself what you need to know and how you need to do things. An example: you have accepted an commission to make a commercial, but you have no idea what requirements a commercial must satisfy in order to appear on television. With that question in mind you can go looking for answers. You may for instance contact a specialist from the field, or search for information on the internet or in a library. Or you may seek help from one of the subject teachers of the course in the form of a consultation.
A consultation implies ‘booking’ a teacher for approximately thirty minutes. During that time you and your project group may bombard your teacher with questions, show your results and receive feedback.

What are assessments?

Competencies are measured in assessments. In an assessment you and the other group members find yourselves in a room together with a number of teachers. During the assessment the projectgroup has approximately forty minutes to show the results for this period and to demonstrate their competence. It’s the paths you have taken to arrive at the results rather than just the results themselves that count. At the end of the assessment the teachers decide whether you meet the requirements of the competencies; if so, you will receive the agreed number of EC, and feedback on what went well and what needs to be improved. This feedback you have to incorporate into your PDP, so that you can rectify your deficiencies in the next period.

What does project-based working mean?

At CMD you hardly ever work on your own. The idea is for you to come into contact with other people in a project and with the clients bringing in the assignments. That’s why you always work in a project group where, just as in a real-world work situation, you have to deal with all sorts of problems that come with project-based working. Your deadlines are non-negotiable, end-products will be used by genuine clients and have to meet the client’s demands. During the project you will gain the competencies needed for the project: practice makes perfect. It is important that you show commitment to the group and display a positive attitude.

The importance of practice-directed learning

There is a lively two-way traffic going on between the professional practice of multimedia industries and the department of Communication and Multimedia Design. Questions and findings from the field end up at CMD where they will lead to new or modified insights; on the other hand innovative ideas developed by CMD students find their way to the multimedia industries where they will be put into use.

What is the purpose of a PDP?

In a PDP, Personal Development Plan, you enter your short, medium and long-term plans that you hope to achieve ( e.g. this period, this academic year, during the complete course, in your professional life).
After having noted down the activities you plan to undertake in order
to achieve these goals and having described the evidence, you need to have your PDP checked by a teacher; he will help you decide whether you‘re being too easy or too hard on yourself and if you have credited your activities with enough EC (european credits).
The PDP is a dynamic document showing your progress and growth and is subject to continuous change. PDPs need to be stored in your portfolio; they are proof of your development both for you and for the teachers.

What use is a portfolio?

The portfolio is an important means to convince your employers-to-be of your skills. Right from the beginning of your studies you start building this (usually digital) personal file in which you store your PDPs, plus an inventory of competencies gained supported by evidence and last but not least, an overview of your own work.

Who are your supervisors?

The mentor is your study coach with whom you discuss your study progress in a one-on-one interview every three weeks. With him/her you discuss how your PDP fits in your medium and long-term planning, how to keep an eye on the ‘studiability’, what the pitfalls and opportunities for further development are. It’s you who has to take the initiative for such a mentor meeting through digital enrollment or an e-mail.
The tutor monitors the project-group. With the tutor you have weekly meetings during which the project’s progress, rules, planning, and the division of tasks are discussed. The tutor will be present at the assessments.
The consultant is a teacher with whom, during a consultation, you discuss the activities you are about to enter in your PDP. He/she will help you determine level and number of EC.

What do we mean by major and minors?

The Bachelor Course Communication and Multimedia Design consists of a major of 120 EC in obligatory credits (out of 240 in total); this includes industrial placement and graduation project. For the remaining 120 EC it’s up to you which competencies you wish to work at. The minor is a chunk of 30 EC (a semester) during which you work at gaining both obligatory and elective competencies.

From competency profile to PDP

A few introductory remarks about the structure of the course:
In the propedeutic year, all competencies are obligatory on the basic level.
In the post-propedeutic phase, all competencies are obligatory on the advanced level; in addition, you have to gain 6 EC on the expert level in competencies of your choice as preparation for your graduation project.
During the placement, you’ll work for 12 EC in obligatory competencies (advanced level) that you’ll complement with elective competencies up to a total of 30 EC.
During the graduation project, you’ll work for 12 EC in obligatory competencies on the expert level and for a minimum of 12 EC in electives on the expert level. This you will complement to a total of 30 EC with electives either on the advanced or the expert level.

Your PDP step-by-step

1. Discuss with your project group what it is you want to learn, what activities you’re going to undertake and what your role will be in the project.

2. With your project group apply for a consultation with the teacher(s) in order to be able to discuss step 7 and 8

3. Scan the competency profile for behaviours that match your activities. You may even add new behaviours.

4. Write down your activities and desired results alongside the behaviours or competencies. To aid you in this process you may make use of examples provided by the teachers. These you will of course have to adapt to your own plans.

5. Determine the level at which you will be working on the competencies using the following guidelines:

Basic level (N1):
You carry out activities according to fixed rules in predictable situations with limited on-demand learning, within the confines of which you act independently, responsibly and creatively. Knowledge on a need-to-know basis suffices. For more complex circumstances you will not hesitate to ask for help and supervision.
Example: Producing a multimedia application for a pre-described situation; client’s wishes and demands are met within the framework of existing standards.

Advanced level (N2):
Broader background knowledge is required; you carry out activities in many and varied unpredictable situations according to your own vision with a great amount of responsibility and independence. You are able to coach and instruct others in these activities.
Example: searching for (and building) a multimedia solution for a situation with many variables, in which you instruct and support others in their learning process whenever necessary.

Expert level (N3):
You develop your own strategic vision for carrying out activities in a broad range of varying, and mostly unpredictable, complex situations applying any number of complex techniques and fundamental principles
Example: advising a company to adopt a multimedia solution for a company- or department-wide communication problem. The complete process from analysis and design to implementation and after care will be
run through.

6. Determine the number of EC you wish to gain. The minimum number of EC to be gained in a first-year project is 15. More is possible, even advisable, but don’t go overboard: 1 EC represents a study load of 28,5 hours. Producing one tiny little drawing, however beautiful, is not going to earn you 3 EC. In the post-propedeutic phase the norm is 30 EC per minor (a semester). Achieving 60 EC per academic year means you’re on schedule.

7. Confer with your project group and a teacher to check whether all tasks in the project are covered.

8. Have your filled-in PDP signed by the relevant teachers.

9. Every period there are assessments. Bring your PDP along and indicate how you are going to prove you’re competent in the behaviours you entered in your PDP. The assessors will have a good look at it at the start of the assessment to gain a clear overview of which behaviours you wish to have assessed. One of the assessors will input the results into Educator a student result registration system.

10. With your mentor you discuss how your PDP fits in with your personal medium- and long-term planning, how studiable your study path is, what the pitfalls are, and where lie the challenges and opportunities for progress.

And finally: PDPs are the most important documents during your studies. They provide a clear insight into your development during your studies. So be sure to store them safely in your portfolio.

Competency profile

The 5 competencies make up the CMD competency profile.
Each competency is described as follows:
1. Name of the competency
2. Short description of the competency
3. Behaviour with which you will demonstrate your competence at the assessment
4. Results, examples of concrete end-products and results of behaviour and mindset; are part of the evidence called for during the assessment.
5. Mindset, your mental attitude that supports you in becoming and remaining competent

The 5 CMD competencies:
Research The CMD student investigates the problem and tests, improves and implements the solution.
Create The CMD student develops concepts that form the basis for the design and creation of multimedia products.
Communicate The CMD student communicates orally and in writing in Dutch and English with peers, experts and stakeholders in the project.
Organise The CMD student works together in a multidisciplinary team and coaches both him/herself and the team.
Learn The CMD student reflects on his/her own work and actions and shares his/her own knowledge and skills for renewal and development.

Learning Goals vs Competencies vs Learning Outcomes
A learning goal is an ambition to learn a particular theory, attitude and/or skill not yet present.
A competency is the combination of knowledge, attitude and skills you need to perform a particular professional task.
A learning outcome is the level of competence: at what level you should demonstrate your competence at propaedeutic level (N1), main phase level (N2) and graduation level (N3).

Learning outcomes per level
A learning outcome is a measurable result of learning experiences that allows you to be sure on what level a competency has been formed or improved. Learning outcomes are not unique characteristics of a student, but statements that enable the teacher to measure whether students have developed their competencies to the required level or can demonstrate a correlation between knowledge, understanding, skills and attitude.

Learning Aid
We have created a canvas that helps you navigate your own unique learning process:
PPO Canvas English

Below are the complete learning outcomes for each level:


N1- You investigate a given (well-defined) problem with the aid of methodologies offered for desk and field research. You involve the target group in this process. You formulate a practical solution, based on the research results and the needs/interests/values of the target group.
N2- You explore a given (semi-defined) problem. You place this in a broader context to better understand the unique context of the assignment. You choose a research method/format and can justify this choice. You analyse the research results, being alert to the reliability and applicability of your insights; you use existing theory for this purpose. You clarify the problem and formulate recommendations for possible solutions, considering various - sometimes conflicting - factors. You involve the various stakeholders in this process
N3- You identify a complex (undefined, possibly wicked) problem and develop a research direction. You interpret the different (conflicting) aspects, interests and values in your research results. You elaborate the issue with a self-selected mix of research methodologies. You develop a broad vision on the issue and the context in which it plays, and you place it in a social framework. In doing so, you will work closely with the various stakeholders.

N1 -You will design a suitable solution for a given (well-defined) problem. You involve the target group in the creation process at regular intervals and make use of (offered) basic knowledge/skills. You base the solution on insights and examples from research. This results in a usable product, in which you have adapted (key elements of) an existing idea to the application context.

N2- You design a thoughtful solution to a complex problem. You regularly involve various stakeholders in the creation process and make use of extensive- self-selected- and self-created professional knowledge and skills. You base the solution on insights and examples from research. This results in a product in which existing ideas are combined in your own way and the possible impact on the target group and its immediate environment is considered.

N3 - You design an inspiring solution for a complex (undefined, possibly wicked) problem with conflicting aspects. You continuously involve various stakeholders in the (co) creation process and use broadly integrated, general and specialist skills and knowledge. You base the solution on insights from your own experiments and existing research. This results in a product in which these insights are translated into something new in your own way, the social impact is considered, and the meaning reaches further than just the application context and/or that which is immediately experienced.


N1-You take responsibility for your own work and (partial) products. You look ahead to plan your own activities. You make a clear project planning for your team and together with your teammates you make a division of tasks, in which the various activities are interrelated. Because you keep the overview, your team members can focus on their tasks. You help team members with their planning, motivate them and speak to them when necessary. In addition, you monitor the atmosphere in - and the functioning of - the group and you make problems negotiable.

N2- You have an eye for different talents within your team and use them to strengthen the work process and the result. You take care of the organization of the work processes and of a constructive atmosphere in the group. You create and monitor an overview. You are assertive, when necessary, but leave responsibilities as much as possible with the team members. As main contact you are well informed about what is happening in the group. You can respond to changing circumstances and take responsibility for adjustments in the planning (or transfer tasks to the right person). You take responsibility for your own work, as well as that of your teammates.

N3You take the lead in the design, the determination of the working method and the mission and vision of a team. In doing so, you make effective use of the (cultural) diversity within the group. You take (joint) responsibility for your own work and that of others. You can assess work processes from different perspectives and choose the right interventions to optimize your own effectiveness and that of the group. You have an external focus, aimed at synergy with external parties. You anticipate changing circumstances and take appropriate action.

N1-You have basic knowledge of (intercultural) communication. On this basis, you communicate in a focused way with a particular target group or stakeholder. You adapt your message in form, tone and content to this and listen actively so that the message of both the sender and the receiver comes across as good(clearly/correctly/attractively/professional) as possible.

N2- You have nuanced knowledge of (intercultural) communication and consciously choose the right approach to communicate systematically with different target groups or stakeholders. This leads to a series of expressions that are attuned to and/or a series of contact moments in which there is harmony with the target group or stakeholders in order to achieve 'common ground' and/or an optimal product or commercial result.

N3-You are sensitive to the interests and values of the other and can place these in a broader (cultural) framework. Based on this, you develop an integrated communication strategy that sets the right course to achieve the desired image among your own chosen target groups or stakeholders.

N1-You set task goals and create pressure and support to motivate yourself. You choose an appropriate time and place for learning. You ask for specific help in finding the right knowledge and skills and in assessing whether you have mastered them sufficiently. You monitor progress towards task objectives, reflect on your actions and formulate points of improvement for the continuation of the learning process. Within a (multidisciplinary, diverse) team you can help peers and ask for help.

N2- Your learning is application-oriented. You identify limitations in Knowledge & Skills (K&S) and set tasks and learning goals. Your search for missing skills and choose a learning strategy to acquire them effectively. You reflect on what and how you have learned. You assess whether you have mastered the required K&S sufficiently and you can ask for help with in-depth knowledge processing in order to be able to apply it. You also compare your own learning and working behaviour with that of others and become aware of your own comfort zone and what lies beyond it. Within (multidisciplinary) teams you can effectively transfer K&S to your peers and vice versa.

N3-You learn from intrinsic motivation. You make a coherent set of learning goals, matching your interests and ambitions. You can process information deeply to make distant knowledge transfers. You look for sparring partners, other views and talents to enrich your self-knowledge, your vision and the learning and actions of yourself and others. You reflect on what and how you have learned. In doing so, you choose your own criteria and standards. Within (multidisciplinary, diverse) teams you can direct the common learning process, creating a Community of Learning (COL) in which collective and integral knowledge is constructed.

As a student of Communication & Multimedia Design, you will in most cases gain the competencies in projects acquired by the Knowledge Centre Multimedia.
The department of CMD stimulates entrepreneurship in students. Thus, it is also possible to work on the competencies in the role of starting entrepreneur in, for instance, minor Entrepreneurship.
Gaining competencies as an entrepreneur means looking at competencies in a slightly different light: in this case, the objective is establishing one’s own multimedia enterprise instead of working one’s way through the phases of a multimedia project. To support you as an enterprising student in your learning goals a separate competency profile booklet will be issued discussing behaviour, results and mindset relevant to the entrepreneur.

List of terms

Meeting of teachers and project group at which students demonstrate their competencies. Assessments take place at mid-term and at the end of the project
List of behavioural indicators that you have to exhibit to achieve the competency
An informal group of 30 to 60 students plus a number of teachers, in which you network, share knowledge, and brainstorm for the purpose of developing ideas and innovations
Combination of knowledge, skills and attitude which enables you to function adequately in a professional environment on a Bachelor level
Competency profile
The 5 competencies you work at in order to satisfy the profile requirements of a CMD graduate
Conference with a teacher at the request of the project group, usually lasting half an hour
European Credits, credit system in use at Research Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences in Europe. One year of studies is equivalent to 60 EC
Digital system to store students’ results for the purpose of monitoring study progress
Study coach, one-on-one contact to discuss study progress
The mentality that you need to have to be able to achieve competency. The mindset is not assessed. Rather it is used for giving feedback.
On-demand learning
Learning process in which the students formulate their own learning demands instead of the teacher telling them what they need to know.
PDP Personal Development Plan
a document in which you enter, per period, the competencies you plan to work at, the activities you plan to undertake, including the level at which to realize them, and the number of EC you intend to earn
A folder ((often digital) containing an inventory of your efforts, progress and achievements (competencies), proof of achievement, criteria for judging merits, and a personal step-by-step plan. An important component of the portfolio is a showcase featuring your best work. A portfolio is a job-hunting tool that gives employers a complete picture of who you are
Practice-directed learning
You learn from practice-based cases. Practice settings steer your learning process and vice versa: findings and insights developed by CMD students find their way into professional practice.
Project-based working
Learning and developing competence by carrying out projects in groups of 5 students for external clients
All products that are the intended result of a project and which are presented during the assessment as proof of competence
Self-analysis to determine, with the help of feedback from project members, the effectiveness of personal decisions and actions, resulting in a plan for remedial action
Coaches project groups in weekly meetings to discuss project progress