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ESCO applies the same definition for knowledge as the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). According to this, "knowledge means the outcome of the assimilation of information through learning. Knowledge is the body of facts, principles, theories and practices that is related to a field of work or study."

Both skills and competences rely on factual and theoretical knowledge, the difference lies in the way this knowledge is applied and being put into use.


Working as a "construction manager" requires the competence to combine knowledge on engineering principles with skills on project management and people management. This application of knowledge and skills takes place in a partly unpredictable setting where technical and organisational problems occur on a daily basis and where solutions have to be immediately identified and applied – either by the construction site manager alone or through team-working.


In ESCO knowledge concepts are part of the skills pillar. They are classified based on the International Standard Classification of Education: Fields of Education and Training 2013.


Relations to skills and competences

Knowledge is applied and put in use in skills and competences. ESCO v1 captures this dimension by creating relations between knowledge, skills and competences. These relations can be qualified as essential or optional.


  • procedural law is essential for plead a case in court
  • labour law is optional for plead a case in court


Formulation rules

In ESCO v1 the terms used to describe knowledge concepts do not make use of action verbs. They do not include the verb know or the noun knowledge.


ESCO will use the term fermentation process to describe a knowledge concept instead of Know fermentation process or Knowledge of fermentation process.