Competency-based learning is an approach to education that focuses on the student’s demonstration of desired learning outcomes as central to the learning process. It is concerned chiefly with a student’s progression through curriculum at their own pace, depth, etc. As competencies are proven, students continue to progress.
Like most things education-related, there is disagreement of what competency-based learning actually means, what its defining traits are, and how it should ideally be used or function. It is traditionally thought of in terms of skills and vocation, but it can be entirely academic as well.