Attainment progression in the Skills Checklists is outlined through phases in the learning process. This will allow teachers to observe and record different aspects of teaching and the student learning progress (see ‘About and Guidelines’).

This attainment progression is based on a hierarchy of phases of skills development described by Haring et al (1981)*. The phases of attainment used in this hierarchy are described below:

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in which learners learn correct new responses through demonstration, modelling or physical prompting with an emphasis on developing accuracy. At this stage learners need a great deal of support.


in which learners, through repetition, reach a level of mastery combining speed and accuracy. The action still takes time to complete.
in which learners consolidate and maintain a high level of competency and fluency over time by over learning through repetition and familiarity. They will remember how to do the task after a break.
in which learners develop and achieve mastery in different settings or contexts, with different stimuli or materials or with different staff.


in which learners recognise similarities and differences between key elements of new situations and select appropriate responses.

in which learners adapt their established skills and understandings to new problem-solving opportunities.


*Haring, N., Liberty, K. and White, O. (1981) An Investigation of Phases of Learning and Facilitating Instructional Events for the Severely / Profoundly Handicapped (final project report). Seattle: University of Washington College of Education.