Resources for educators

How to transfers competences

The gap between a safe training context and the application of what has been learnt in the real world can be large. In particular, for people with an intellectual disability, transfer is a challenge and doesn’t occur automatically. This section describes conditions and strategies that promote a successful learning process and the application of the competences in the future.

Promoting transfer starts at the very beginning of, and even before, the training. A specific quality of interaction with the trainee is critical: the trainer has to include intent, meaning and transcendence. 

Therefore, the activities and exercises must be customized to the trainee in two ways: the content must be relevant for the trainee, and therefore be recognized as being part of their personal life situation.

Also the activity must be in line with the learning style and their cognitive competences.


To foster the application of the competence after the training, conditions must be set that invite the trainee to perform what has been acquired. These general conditions refer to an environment that sets expectations, welcomes mistakes, gives the floor for trying out, etc. 

Besides this, specific interventions from the trainer, during and after the training (e.g. bridging and fading) are helpful for the trainee to apply what he has learned.