Michael Feldstein does a nice job introducing Desire2Learn's approach to competences. The main point is, "Every competency has at least one learning objective under it. In turn, every learning objective has at least one assessment which is the actual instrument for checking to see if students have met the learning objective." The key to this formulation is flexibility, since competencies depend on the goals of the learning in the first place, abot which there is often no agreement. It is also worth noting that for each learning objective there ought (in principle) to be a learning object, not just an assessment. But can the objectives of learning be reduced (for that's what this is, a reductive process) to competences? I have my doubts, for a variety of reason. Good grist for future discussions.