Michale Erat’s Five-Stage Model

Michale Erat’s Five-Stage Model


In the novice stage, a person follows rules as given, without context, with no sense of responsibility beyond following the rules exactly. Competence develops when the individual develops organisational principles to quickly access the particular rules that are relevant to the specific task at hand; hence, competence is characterised by active decision making in choosing a course of action. Proficiency is shown by individuals who develop intuition to guide their decisions and devise their own rules to formulate plans. The progression is thus from rigid adherence to rules to an intuitive mode of reasoning based on tacit knowledge.

Michael Erat summarised the five stages of increasing skill as follows:

1. Novice

  • Rigid adherence to taught rules or plans.
  • No exercise of discretionary judgment.

2. Advanced beginner

  • Limited situational perception.
  • All aspects of work treated separately with equal importance.

3. Competent

  • Coping with crowdedness (multiple activities, accumulation of information).
  • Some perception of actions in relation to goals.
  • Deliberate planning.
  • Formulates routines.

4. Proficient

  • Holistic view of the situation.
  • Prioritis
  • es importance of aspects.
  • Perceives deviations from the normal pattern.
  • Employs maxims for guidance, with meanings that adapt to the situation at hand.

5. Expert

  • Transcends reliance on rules, guidelines, and maxims.
  • Intuitive grasp of situations based on deep, tacit understanding.
  • Has a vision of what is possible.
  • Uses analytical approaches in new situations or in case of problems.


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