Overview of the DACUM Process

A basic description of DACUM principles:

  • A curriculum that prepares students for a technical occupation should present real-world, problem-based preparation.
  • An occupation can most effectively be described in terms of successfully performed job tasks or competencies.
  • The expert worker is the best source for recognizing and describing job tasks.

A basic description of DACUM activities:

  • The DACUM process has three main elements: needs assessment, a data-gathering workshop, and curriculum development.
  • A needs assessment is simply a focused effort to determine whether instruction is needed and, if so, in what area; this effort often begins with a curriculum review or labor market survey.
  • A DACUM workshop brings together a focus group of expert workers in a specific field or occupation for a brainstorming session (which can also be regarded as a structured group interview). A trained DACUM facilitator guides the workshop participants to produce a chart that lists the tasks performed by an entry-level worker in the occupation.
  • A curriculum designer can then use the DACUM chart to develop an industry-validated program of instruction for training an entry-level worker for the job.