Let’s get critical! Critical thinking and the future workforce

Critical thinking is the ability to use a range of tools or methods to critically examine and assess existing information, thinking, assumptions and issues to present well-reasoned insights or to make judgements.

The way we live and work is evolving at an exponential pace. In order to thrive in this ever-changing environment, the ability to analyse new information and appraise evidence to make sound decisions is invaluable.

Individuals who are skilled at critical thinking have the ability to make informed judgements and evaluate knowledge, systematically analyse alternatives, make informed decisions, and critically review whether or not their actions have achieved the required outcomes.

Critical thinking can be applied in learning, work and life. It can occur during conversations, while reading novels, completing academic study or simply from perceptive insights.

Problem solving, innovative thinking and critical thinking all fall under the ‘thinking’ domain of the Human Capability Framework and whilst they are closely related, they are distinct from one another. Engaging one’s brain to not only solve a problem or make a decision, but question alternative options and outcomes, see opportunities and understand the context and emotions involved, before reaching conclusions that draw on past experience or knowledge is what sets a critical thinker apart from problem solvers and innovative thinkers.

The ability to measure this skill and differentiate it from other thinking styles is important in this modern environment overloaded with information and options; the ability to critically appraise a situation and make a sound judgement is now more valuable than ever. Indicators of proficiency in this domain include the ability to apply logic and reasoning to judgements, making decisions whilst remaining cognizant of consequences and the ability to move from decisions to action. As with each capability in the framework, critical thinking is assessed at five levels, with the complexity of information incorporated into decisions and the ability to make strategic decisions informed by a variety of sources is what sets a level five critical thinker from a level one critical thinker.

For more information about the Human Capability Standards please contact us at info@veriskills.com or 07 3858 1230 or click here to access the framework.