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Although there are many formats for the structure of JTA outlines, we will use one common example for this illustration. The structure typically consists of a three-tiered outline. The top level contains Performance Domains, the second level contains Task Statements and the third level contains Knowledge and Skill Statements.

Domains are the larger performance areas that work can be categorized. They are the major responsibilities or duties that make up the profession.

For example, let’s say that a physician, an internist for example, when dealing with patients generally deal in the domains of History, Examination, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Follow-Up.  

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Domain: the major responsibilities or duties that make up the profession

Example Performance Domains of a Physician of Internal Medicine:

Domain I. History

Domain II. Examination

Domain III. Diagnosis

Domain IV. Treatment

Domain V. Follow-Up

Here is an image where you can visualize where Domains fit in a JTA hierarchy:

Next, we will begin developing Task Statements. A task statement is a comprehensive statement of work activity that elaborates upon the performance domain.

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Tasks:  work activities performed by incumbents

Each task statement details a particular work activity in such a way that the series of task statements offers a comprehensive and detailed description of each performance domain.

Using the example of the Internist that we discussed a moment ago, perhaps a task that could be included within the History domain would be to “measure and document vital signs.”

  Domain I. History

Task 1: Measure patient vital signs using instruments to document a baseline condition.

  Domain II. Examination

  Domain III. Diagnosis

  Domain IV. Treatment

  Domain V. Follow-Up


Task statements typically provide answers to the follow four questions.

  1. What activity is being performed? (Action verb)
  2. To whom or to what is the activity directed? (Object of verb)
  3. How is it performed? (Using tools, equipment, processes, work aides, etc.)
  4. Why is it performed? (Expected output of action) 

These are examples of task statements and the following color coding shows the various components. Notice there is usually (but not always) an order in which the components are written.

 

Here is an image where you can visualize where Tasks fit in a JTA hierarchy:


Finally, we will document Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. These are important to document so that one understands what is necessary in order to perform the tasks in the outline.

Knowledge statements refer to an organized body of information usually of a factual or procedural nature which, if applied, makes adequate performance on the job possible. A body of information applied directly to the performance of a function.

Skill statements refer to the proficient manual, verbal or mental manipulation of data or things. Skills can be readily measured by a performance test where quantity and quality of performance are tested, usually within an established time limit. Examples of proficient manipulation of things are skill in typing or skill in operating a vehicle. Examples of proficient manipulation of data are skill in computation using decimals; skill in editing for transposed numbers, etc.

Ability statements refer to the power to perform an observable activity at the present time. This means that abilities have been evidenced through activities or behaviors that are similar to those required on the job, e.g., ability to plan and organize work.

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Knowledge: an organized body of information usually of a factual or procedural nature

Skills: the proficient manual, verbal or mental manipulation of data or things

Abilities: the power to perform an observable activity at the present time

Continuing in our example, in order to measure and document vital signs, one would require knowledge of and skill in using a thermometer

Domain I. History

Task 1: Measure patient vital signs using instruments to document a baseline condition.

Skill in using a thermometer

Domain II. Examination

Domain III. Diagnosis

Domain IV. Treatment

Domain V. Follow-Up

 Here is an image where you can visualize where KSAs fit in a JTA hierarchy:


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