In Portuguese and Spanish, competence has three different meanings. It can mean both the function and the faculty attributed by law, relating to disputes, conflicts or opposition. However, it is the other meaning of competence that interests us here, relating to skills, attitude and expertise. We very often find other words associated with competence. We talk about ‘competences and skills’, ‘competences and values’, and ‘competences and knowledge’, always using the plural. In this text, we will concentrate on the development of competences and skills, both in relation to formal and informal education, and vocational training. The subject is current and has been the cause of much discussion, dispute, and contradictory understandings. Often, competence is confused with skill and opposes competition and collaboration.