First: Technological Education in the Colleges of Technology

Technological education is one of the higher education systems in Oman, which contributes to developing high quality national human resources by preparing and qualifying General Diploma graduates, based on the requirements of the labor market. It offers a range of specializations, which include Engineering, Information Technology, Business, Applied Sciences, Pharmacy, Photography and Fashion Design.

The Ministry of Manpower currently supervises the governance and development process of all seven Colleges of Technology in the Sultanate.  These are; the Higher College of Technology, which offers Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Bachelor of Technology qualifications, the other six colleges, located in Musanna, Nizwa, Ibra, Shinas, Ibri and Salalah, offer Diploma and Higher Diploma of Technology qualifications only.


Vision of the Colleges of Technology:

The Colleges of Technology seek to be leading technological institutions providing high quality teaching and learning to prepare and empower the Omani professionals for the future to contribute to national socio economic development.


Message of the Colleges of Technology:

The Colleges of Technology aim to deliver high quality student-centered education that provides competitive graduates, who enter the labor market with confidence, strong technological and personal skills and prepared for a life of contribution and success.


Goals of the Colleges of Technology:

  1. To provide excellent, active and transparent governance and administration, while adhering to ethical principles.
  2. To offer students high quality teaching, learning and training opportunities through continuous market analysis and curriculum review process by using the up-to-date technology.
  3. To offer quality programs that promote entrepreneurial skills and respond to the changing market needs and developments in technology.
  4. To ensure that graduates develop into responsible citizens by enriching their values and attributes to positively affect the socio economic development.
  5. To develop staff by offering opportunities for professional and personal development, rewarding hard work and innovative thinking.
  6. To encourage opportunities for applied Research and Consultancy.
  7. To foster mutually beneficial constructive partnerships with various public and private sector organizations, professional bodies and local and international communities that benefit the community at large.
  8. To provide facilities and learning resources that are effectively utilized and well managed to ensure efficient student and staff services.


Development of Technological Education

Technological Education is considered as one of the oldest academic systems in Oman. It was first established in 1984 as one college only, the Oman Technical Industrial College.  After that, four Vocational Training Centers were converted to Industrial Technical Colleges in Musanna, Nizwa, Ibra and Salalah. In 2001, the Technical Industrial Colleges was upgraded to five Colleges of Technology; one of them is Higher College of Technology in Muscat, which offers a Bachelor of Technology. Two more Colleges of Technology were then established in Shinas (2005) and Ibri (2007), so they total number of the technological colleges amounted to (7) distributed geographically across the Sultanate. In 2018 an approval was obtained to establish a new college of technology in the Governorate of Musandam.

Technological Education first began with 65 male and female students, as the first intake. Now, the annual average number of students admitted is around 9,000 male and female General Diploma graduates, making up 32,2% of students enrolled under the Omani Government expenses. The number of registered students in all seven Colleges of Technology is 40,000 male and female students. As for the 2017/2018 academic year, the number of graduates reached 5891 across all specializations.

The Ministry of Manpower has worked on developing the infrastructure of the Colleges of Technology, in order to build its capacity to accommodate the large number of students while providing high quality financial, educational and human resources. The infrastructure development includes buildings, services, educational and training facilities, engineering and IT laboratories, workshops, etc. The Ministry also seeks to have adequate educational resources equipped with latest educational technologies and cutting-edge computers. Furthermore, the Ministry focused on developing and using electronic references and online sources, presentation equipment, smart boards, audio-visual devices, computer networks and systems, etc. in order to facilitate teaching and learning process. The Ministry focuses on training national cadres through workshops, training sessions, capacity-building programs, and scholarships.


Specializations and Qualifications

The Ministry, works in cooperation and coordination with the labor market, to offer programs and specializations, which match the market’s requirements for technological and technical skills. The number of currently delivered programs across the colleges of technology is seven (7), comprising a total of (39) approved specializations, as shown in table (1) below.

There are three common delivered programs across the Colleges of Technology: Engineering with (16) approved specializations making up 41% of the total; Information Technology and Business Studies with (7) specializations for each making up 18% of the total. The Higher College of Technology offers, in addition to the aforementioned programs, Applied Science Program with (6) specializations making up 15% of the total, and Pharmacy, Photography, and Fashion Design,  making up altogether 7.7% of the total number of programs.


Table (1)

Accredited specializations Delivered at the Colleges of Technology

For the Academic Year (2017/2018)






Engineering Program




Civil Engineering


Computer Engineering


Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering*


Industrial Engineering**


Chemical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Mechatronics Engineering


Engineering Drawing (Draftsman)


Land Surveying


Quantity Surveying


Oil & Gas Engineering


Refrigeration and Air Conditioning 


Biomedical Engineering


Aircraft Engineering**

Information Technology programs


Information Systems


Information Security


Software Development




Software Engineering




Database Systems



Business Studies Programs


Office Management


Human Resources Management




E-Business Administration




Certified Accounting Technicians


Legal Insurance Qualifications**



Applied Sciences Programs


Applied Biology


School Laboratories* 


Environmental Sciences


Occupational Health and Safety **


Applied Chemistry


Industrial Hygiene** 

Other Programs


Assistant Pharmacy


Fashion Design





* Discontinued Approved specializations.

** Undelivered Approved specializations.


All Colleges of Technology offer Diploma and Advanced Diploma Qualifications in the above-mentioned specializations. The Higher College of Technology also offers Bachelor of Technology in all specializations excluding Photography, Fashion Design, Pharmacy, and some engineering specializations such as Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, and Oil and Gas Engineering.

It is worth mentioning that the Colleges of Technology do not grant any of the different degrees mentioned above unless students fulfill the requirements shown in figure (1) and undergo On the Job Training at private sector institutions, which is considered as an essential part of the educational process, meant to qualify graduates for the labor market.

For this reason, A period of eight (8) weeks of training, relevant to the specialization, is required whether it is undergone in public or private institutions (for a minimum of 300 hours of training), under joint supervision and assessment of officials at the institutions and Colleges of Technology.

Figure (1) Criteria of transition between the levels of the technological education programs


Student distribution on specializations based on the requirements of the Labor Market

The Ministry ensures admitting the largest number of General Diploma graduates, in order to meet the requirements of the Labor Market.  It allocates students among specializations, in accordance with the job opportunities available (based on the numbers and percentages of expatriates in different sectors).  Table (2) below illustrates the allocation percentages of students among the programs of Colleges of Technology.  As shown below, the largest proportion of students is allocated in Engineering specializations (48.6%), which meets the requirements of the labor market.  In fact, the economic indicators in the Annual Report of the Ministry of Manpower 2017 stated that expatriate percentages are, 39.1% in Construction Sector and 13.6% in Transformational Industry, both related to the Engineering Field.    

Table (2): Numbers of Enrolled Students in the Colleges of Technology (As per Academic Programs) for the Year (2017/2018).


Programs      Student Number Percentage
Engineering 19420 48.6%
Business Studies 10283 25.8%
Information Technology 7306 18.3%
Other Specializations 2920 7.3%
Total Number 39929 100%

*Source: Statistics of the Electronic Student Management System – December 2018.


Quality of Technological Education:

The educational process, activities, and events at the Colleges of Technology are compliant with the quality regulations followed in higher education institutions, based on the quality standards issued by the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority. Quality Assurance committees and Quality Department at the Ministry supervise quality assurance process in the Colleges of Technology. The Quality Department reviews self-assessment reports and conducts periodical monitoring visits to the Colleges. Furthermore, the Directorate General of Technological Education supervises the establishment and development of systems and policies for the practical educational systems and their related activities.

Based on this, all the Colleges of Technology completed the first phase of Oman Academic Accreditation Authority’s institutional accreditation between the years 2010 and 2014. The Colleges of Technology are currently preparing the ISA reports to be submitted to the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority as part of the second phase of accreditation scheduled to be completed in 2019-2020.


Student Participation in the Educational Process, Support for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Ministry seeks to provide a suitable educational environment, engaging students in the development of the educational process at the Colleges of Technology. This is achieved through listening and addressing their constructive opinions and proposals, providing communication channels with them, and encouraging their research projects and innovations. Such steps are made possible through the following:

  • Student Councils

These Councils were activated in 2011 in all Colleges of Technology.  They allow students to, express their ambitions and needs and help them overcome challenges encountered during study and they offer support in aspects of education, training and services, in addition to that, the councils contribute in developing student skills through direct communication with College administration and officials of Directorate General of Technological Education in the Ministry of Manpower, and through organizing activities and programs that foster student educational and creative skills.  

  • Annual Student Gathering

These are organized in an annual basis in one of the Colleges of Technology.  They aim to develop proactivity and entrepreneurship, foster positive competition among students and allow them to share different knowledge and cultures during entertainment and cultural activities accompanied with such forums.

  • Student Applied Research Projects

Students of Colleges of Technology conduct different research projects under the supervision of lecturers.  Research contributes in nurturing student talents and encouraging them to apply their innovative ideas through working on entrepreneurial projects, experiments and research.  As a result, students gain skills and experiences that enable them to compete in the labor market.  The Colleges have a relation with the Research Council and other research institutions, to support student projects.

Accordingly, Ibra College of Technology received funding for four research projects, by the Research Council.   These are: (i) Internet-based Tourism System (IoT), (ii) Fostering Tourism Sector in Al Sharqiya - analytical study, (iii) Solar Energy - A radar penetrates the ground to detect mineral and non-mineral materials, and (iiii) Development of an automated system to count cancer cells accurately.

Musanaa College of Technology received funding for three research projects.  These are: (i) A Smart Solar Waste Separation System with Integrated Self-Control Robot to Achieve Environmental Sustainability, (ii) A Pilot Verification of Refined Polyethylene Terephthalate Compounds Reinforced with Palm Tree Fibers, used in Structural Applications in Oil and Gas Industry, and (iii) A Study on Employer Expectations and the Gap between Graduate Skills and Labor Market needs.

In addition, Ibri College of Technology received funding from the Research Council for two projects: (i) Development of An Advanced System for Higher Education Institutions for Exam Schedule Preparation, and (ii) Solar Control System of Sun Tracking Device and Cleaning Air Dust from the Environment Device.

  • Student Participation and Achievements in Competitions

The Ministry and Colleges of Technology support student participation in national, region and international competitions.  In 2018, the Higher College of Technology came first in the Environmental Public Speaking Contest in Dubai, and won the third place in the Middle East in Huawei Competition in Republic of China.  Shinas College of Technology, and at the same Huawei Competition, won second, third and fifth places. Moreover, Ibra College of Technology won the third place in the 3rd GCC robotics challenge held in Bahrain University, while Musanaa College of Technology won the first place in the same 3rd GCC robotics challenge in Qatar in 2017.


Second: Vocational Education and Training:

The Ministry of Manpower seeks to ensure the good quality of vocational education and training system applied in the Government vocational colleges, to obtain high quality vocational outputs that meet the qualitative and quantitative requirements of the market, and to link these outputs directly to the production, national economy and the labor market.  The Ministry works continuously on improving the infrastructure of the vocational colleges, in order to obtain outputs capable of performing vocational tasks under available modern technological circumstances that simulate the technological development in both public and private sector institutions. The Ministry also pursues to implant competitive concepts and business entrepreneurship to achieve strategic goals that have been planned for a period of ten years (2016-2025) through professional ethics, mission and objectives which are able to face the circumstances and the conditions of the society and the rapidly changing market.


Vocational Education and Training Strategic Objectives:
The importance of vocational education and training is shown in most of the countries through the high percentages of the public education students, who have been enrolled and trained in vocational institutions:


Vocational Education and Training System:

The academic year (2015/2016) witnessed the issuance of the regulation of the Governmental Vocational Colleges by Ministerial decision number (244/2015). Figure (2) shows the pathways of vocational education and training in the Government vocational colleges according to these regulations. These pathways were developed to meet the requirements of the labor market, and the current vocational training framework that includes three pathways and their correlation with the possibility of continuing the study after completion of one of the pathways as shown in Figure 1. Graduates of the vocational diploma can also peruse their studies in technological colleges in certain specializations of technological education according to specific standards.


Figure (2)

Vocational Education and Training pathways in government vocational colleges, according to the regulation issued by Ministerial decision No. (244/2015):

  • Vocational Apprenticeship pathway.
  • Vocational Training Courses pathway.


Vocational Diploma pathway:

Public education diploma graduates would join this pathway and are accepted by the admission center. The term of study is not less than three years, and it includes a constituent program/curriculum in English, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and six academic semesters on vocational programs/curriculum.

The first batch of the Vocational Diploma pathway was accepted in the first semester of the academic year 2012-2013. After the successful completion of this curriculum/program, the student obtains a Vocational Diploma Certificate that is equal to the Technological Diploma Certificate, according to the Civil Service Council decree number (1/2015) on specifying the degree of assignment based on the professional qualifications and academic certificates.  This qualification allows the graduates to join the labor market in their specialization and it gives them the opportunity to continue their high technological education in the Colleges of Technology, based on specific regulations and standards.


Vocational Apprenticeship pathway:

This pathway qualifies those who dropped out from public education system, or those who are job seekers to obtain a certificate of professional competence, with three levels (semi-skilled, skilled and professional).The target group of this path is a wide range of citizens, who are below 18 years old, and this training is implemented in the two locations of:

  • Government Vocational Colleges to acquire the basic vocational skills (practically and theoretically).
  • Workplaces to acquire the advanced vocational skills required by the trainee after graduation and joining the labor market.

This pathway is applied based on a tripartite agreement between (the Vocational College, work place and the trainee).


Vocational Training Courses pathway:

This pathway includes the following training programs:

  • Competence Upgrading Programs: workers join this pathway to improve and enhance their skills.  This training is part of the lifetime learning policy adopted by the Ministry.
  • Local Community Development Programs: Citizens are enrolled regardless of their age and gender to be qualified with vocational skills they may need in their homes and workplaces such as, simple electrical wiring, plumbing, painting walls and doors, sewing, embroidery, etc. This training is part of the Ministry's Education for All Policy.
  • Training Programs for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled: This training is a part of the Ministry's policy of non-discrimination and for those wishing to be enrolled in the sector of education and vocational training. These programs grant students with vocational Qualification of specific level and specialization.

Training programs for job seekers and those who are willing to change their careers or start their own projects are implemented within the framework of the lifetime learning policy and the encouragement of entrepreneurship.

The term of the course must not be less than one week, and not exceeding nine months, according to the nature of the profession and the required level.


Government Vocational colleges:

Government vocational colleges are considered as one of the most important pillars for building and improving the skills of the Omani citizen and achieve the objectives sought by the Sultanate 1. Training and qualifying the national workforce. 2. Replacing the foreign work force. 3. Placing them in specialized posts needed by the labor market. Vocational training is a primary resource to faster the growth levels, creating opportunities for job seekers and providing good life for them, in addition to, improving greater economic growth levels and the education quality to achieve the development objectives.

Vocational education and training programs are provided through (7) Vocational Colleges (Seeb, Saham, Sur, Ibri, Shinas, Al-Buraimi and Salalah), in addition to the Vocational College for Marine Sciences in Al-Khaburah. 


1- Vocational Diploma Certificate:

 It is a document obtained by the student after he/she fulfills the requirements of the Vocational Diploma program.

2- Certificate of Professional Competence:

 It is a document obtained by the trainee who fulfills the requirements of the apprenticeship pathway.

3- Training Course Certificate:

It is a document awarded to individuals who join the following vocational training courses:

  • Workers and employees` upgrading competence courses.
  • Job seekers, or those who seek to change their careers.
  • People with special needs.
  • Local community development.


Programs and Specializations offered by Vocational Colleges:

There are several programs offered by the vocational colleges, and they vary in implementation matters from one college to another, according to the geographical distribution and the actual need for such programs, to be in line with the training and economic development objectives. The following table shows the approved specialties of the vocational diploma. The Ministry works to open new specializations in line with the actual needs of the labor market. Table (3) shows the approved specializations for the vocational diploma and table (4) shows the majors in the Vocational College for Marine Sciences in Al-Khaburah.


Table (3)

Approved Vocational Diploma Specializations


Specialization in Arabic Language


Technical section


Serial No.

Household Electrician

Electrical Engineering


Industrial Electrician

Maintenance of Electronics

Electronics Engineering



Household Air-Conditioning

Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Engineering


Industrial air-conditioning

Automotive Maintenance Technology

Automotive Technology Engineering


Automotive Painting

Automotive Body Repair

Operation Mechanics

Mechanical Engineering


Industrial Maintenance

Welding & Metal Fabrication

Welding & Metal Fabrication Engineering


Steel Fitting& Shuttering Concretes

Construction & Building Engineering



Design& Décor

Building Management & Maintenance

Painting& Décor


Woods Technology Engineering


Furniture and Design


Plant Production

Agriculture Technology



Food Processing Technology

Beauty Care& Hair Dressing

Beauty & Care


Specialized Sale & Marketing

Business Studies





Table (4)

Fisheries Specializations


Specialization in Arabic Language


Technical section


Serial No.

Fish Farming



Fisheries Extension and Quality Control

Fisheries Development


Ship Building & Repair Models

Ship Building & Repair


Skipper of Deep Water fishing vessels

Navigation Technology & Fishing Gears


Engineering of Deep Water Fishing Vessels

Fishing Engineering


Engineering of Coastal Fishing Vessels


Third: Vocational education and training in private training institutions

Private Training Institutes

  1. Private institutes (individuals / companies): The premises set up for the purpose of vocational training, in accordance with the conditions stipulated in the bylaw of private training institutions.
  2. Centers within private establishments: The premises located within a establishment or a group of facilities to train employees through specific courses or training programs according to their needs.
  3. Training services offices (individuals / companies): They hold lectures, seminars, conferences and workshops, and work on refining and developing cognitive, mental and informational skills. Such courses do not exceed 25 training hours, or one week in the maximum.
  4. Training Units within private educational institutions: Implementation of programs within the activities of private universities and colleges.

Licensing areas in private training institutions

  • The commercial field: The field of commercial and administrative activities and specialties, which includes administrative and financial sciences, information technology, language teaching and the like.
  • Industrial field: The field of industrial activities and specialties with practical training and auxiliary theoretical sciences, which include mechanics, blacksmithing, carpentry, electricity, construction and the like.
  • Craft field: The field of activities and handicrafts, with manual, or cosmetic practice, which include tailoring, household economics, beautification, shaving, hospitality and the like.
  • Special programs field: Activities and specialties of special nature, which require the supervision of official bodies in the Sultanate such as: areas of fisheries, livestock, veterinary assistance, meteorology, agricultural fields, medical assistance, legal fields and the like.

Figure (4)

Licensing Areas



Licensing stages of private training institutions

 The association with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to render licensing applications of private training institutions (construction) began on 31/12/2017, to carry out the following:

  • Investors in the field of training apply for a license for practicing training work through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (invest easy portal), after reviewing the requirements, filling out the application form, attaching all the required documents and paying the fees. Then the application is dispatched and after verification at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, it reaches the Ministry of Manpower to undergo the stages of checking the documents submitted, and then a visit is paid to the headquarters to ensure that the application meets the basic criteria for the establishment of a special training institution, according to the type of license required, and then it is finally approved by the Ministry of Manpower.
  • The private training institution will start the implementation of the training activity after the approval of its administrative and training staff, the certification of training activities, in accordance with the following mechanisms:

​- The mechanism of accreditation of the administrative and training staff: The administrative and training staff shall be accredited in accordance with the regulations mentioned in the bylaw of the private training institutions.    

- Program Accreditation Mechanism: Programs shall be approved in accordance with the applicable regulations by specialties and after meeting all program requirements.

  • On completion of the training activity, the training certificates are approved, provided that the trainees are registered in the system so that the competent officer can match the name of the trainee from the ID card and training certificate with the electronic system.

Supervision and field follow-up of training activities implemented in private training institutions:

Technical supervision and training quality assurance are carried out in order to ensure the proper implementation of training activities, through various field visits

Types of field visits to private training institutions:

  1. Licensing visit :

It is paid to grant a license to a new private training institution

  1.  Evaluation and Follow-up visits

Shall be paid on regular basis to private training institutions, in accordance with a program prepared in advance to evaluate and follow up the private training institution, in terms of management documents, material and human resources, training plan, curricula, tests and evaluation.

  1. Counseling visits:

Such visits are paid at the request of the private training institution for the purpose of guidance.

  1. Classification visits:

The purpose such visits is to determine the classification category of the private training institution as shown in the following table:


Table (5)

Identification of Private Training Institutions` Classification Category




This is carried out through careful evaluation according to the classification form prepared by the Directorate for this purpose, as follows:

Figure (5)



Figure (6)

Steps of licensing a private training institution







Approval issued, to ensure that a private training institution is eligible to organize and implement vocational training courses, or programs, or training services in a specific field, in a certain Governorate or area.


commercial activity code Commercial activity description Legal form of commercial registration License code License name


Vocational training centers

The premises inside an establishment or a series of establishments set for the training of employees through certain training courses, or programs.



Private vocational training center, within establishments


Vocational and administrative training institutes

Activities and specializations of a special nature, which require supervision from official authorities in the Sultanate, such as fisheries, livestock, assisting veterinary, meteorology, agricultural, assisting medical and legal fields… etc.

Individual firm


Private Vocational Training Institute

)private Programs(




Music Education Institutes


Vocational and administrative training institutes

Commercial and administrative activities and specializations, including the administrative and financial sciences, information technology and language teaching... etc.

Individual firm


Private Vocational Training Institute 





Language and Computer Education Institutes


Vocational and administrative training institutes

Crafts activities and specializations featuring a manual or cosmetics practice, such as tailoring, household economics, cosmetics, haircutting, hospitality...etc.

Individual firm


Private Vocational Training Institute





Vocational and administrative training institutes

Industrial activities and specializations which include practical training and assisting theoretical sciences such as mechanics, blacksmithing, carpentry, electricity, construction… etc.

Individual firm


Private Vocational Training Institute 





Training services

Seminars, conferences and workshops, which do not exceed 25 training hours.



Training Services Offices

Individual firm



Training services

The premises at private higher educational institutions for practicing  training works



A training unit in private educational institutions

To review  the conditions of establishing a private training institutes, please refer to the license simulator at the Invest Easy Portal on (


Fourth: Occupational Standards and Testing Center

As per the Royal Directives to pay more attention to the training and qualification of the national human resources and due to the rapid growth of the labor market’s activities and sectors, necessity has arisen to establish a specialized center to draft occupational standards for the different vocational skill levels, to contribute to regulating the Omani labor market and supplying it with competent resources. Work has commenced to draft a set of occupational standards for a number of vocations, which are prioritized in the vocational training programs. This was carried out through coordination with a global think tank (The German International Cooperation Agency, GIZ) from 2005 until 2011(The consultancy period) to design the structural hierarchy of the center and identify its requirements for human resources. 

In 2011, the ministerial order no. (76/2011) was issued, stipulating the establishment of the occupational standards and tests center to be in charge of developing the occupational standards system for all vocations across the different skill levels. It also plans and manages the vocational competency tests system with the aim of improving the production and services performance of  enterprises and improve performance of manpower. It also develops vocational and technical training programs and curricula, and trains the participants using advanced scientific methods. Given the importance of the center, in terms of developing a comprehensive system for occupational standards and tests in Oman to serve as a reference for the development process of governmental and private sectors as well as for education and training institutions, it was affiliated directly under the Ministry’s undersecretary for Technological Education and Vocational Training. The center is made up of six main departments:

  1. Advanced occupational standards department.
  2. Testing and diploma department.
  3. Trainee counseling and guidance department.
  4. Vocational and industrial relation department
  5. Labor market and training research department.
  6. Finance and administrative affairs department.


Requirements of Occupational standards Development:

The Vocational training and education system in Oman, which largely resembles the applicable systems in many countries around the world and especially those with extensive experience in this arena, has sought to produce a competent and highly-skilled national cadre across the different sectors and in line with the primary education and general education system. This system aims at providing trainees with a secure career path, based on the actual needs of the job market for technical and vocational manpower. The focus that was channeled to the on-the-job aspect more than the theoretical one came with the view of delivering outcomes which match the needs of the labor market for workers. The persistent need for occupational, national standards can be explained by the following factors:

  1. The increasing complexity in the work environment.
  2. The rapid growth of all types of economic activities, due to the information and technology revolution in the developed countries, which deeply rippled into the developing countries, reducing the information and skills acquired by individuals acquire and the ongoing need for employees development and progress in various vocational fields.
  3. The emergence of new vocations due to the rapid technological advancement.

 Occupational Standards Concept and its Development Methodologies

The occupational standards, as agreed upon by most definitions, is “an accurate and clear standard description of the competences (know-how, skills, trends, and behaviors) that the incumbent should have to skillfully fulfill the tasks with the results of the mastered performance being identified.” As such, occupational standards represent the regulations that govern the preparation, employment, and movement processes of manpower, making them necessary.

Sometimes, occupational standards are taken for job description. The latter, however, is only a component of the former, if not the main one. The job description is a detailed description of the tasks and duties that the incumbent should fulfill, listing the conditions necessary for the job, such as academic and professional qualifications and the vocational category and field. The occupational standards, however, present a wider description of the occupation, including the following elements (some change can be expected based on the methodology used to produce the standards):

  • Duties and tasks of the occupation.
  • The required competences, know-how, skills, trends, and behaviors.
  • Implementation steps.
  • Implementation tools and equipment.
  • Relevant safety and security laws and regulations.
  • Training methodology and standards (in some methodologies).

There are several methodologies to be adopted to develop the occupational standards. They differ in terms of work mechanisms and the goals to be attained by developing  the standards in the concerned country, and as per the priorities identified by decision-makers. The most common and important methodologies are the following:

  1. Functional Analysis Methodology.
  2. Dacum Methodology
  3. Work Process Analysis

The last is the most recent and the one the Ministry of Manpower and the Occupational Standards and Testing Center adopted to develop 60 occupational standards for a number of vocations across the different skill levels. Further developed was a set of 10 tests, as seen in the table below.


Table (7)

Occupational Standards and Fields



Vocational Field

Number of occupational standards

Number of occupational tests


IT services




Engineering drawing using computers




Travel and Tourism




















Media technology




Mechanical Services




Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning







































The occupational standards methodology has recently been updated to keep abreast of the requirements of the current phase. The Center has developed a new set of occupational standards for the oil and gas sector in cooperation with the Oman Petroleum Services society (OPAL). In this context, several technical workshops were organized with the participation of more than 165 experts concerned and more than 30 business sites of several companies for have been visited for the same purpose.

Occupational standards have been developed for seven professional fields:

• Welding and manufacturing.

• Occupational Safety and Health.

• Lift and unload operations.

• Engineering maintenance and installation of electrical and mechanical equipment.

• Maintenance of buildings and facilities.

• Engineering of mechanical industries.

• Specialization management of engineering clients.

•Drilling and excavation.

Coordination is underway with other sectors to develop occupational standards such as the automotive sector represented by the National College of Automotive Technology and the Logistics Sector represented by the ASYAD Group.