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How to Build Organizational Competence


Competency frameworks sometimes referred to as competency models, act as guides for governments, schools, colleges, universities, employers, students, employees, and job seekers. Industry-specific competency frameworks are produced by government agencies and trade groups to provide a starting point for the other stakeholders. Competency frameworks are formulated for different industry sectors, roles, jobs, careers, or job groups. By expressing the specific skills and knowledge requirements of an industry, they create the roadmap for career growth. Organizations then use these industry frameworks to produce their versions of the framework. These frameworks help us clearly express the behaviors, capabilities, knowledge, skills, and abilities required for jobs. Job seekers can prepare themselves for their industry of choice by using publicly available competency frameworks. Learning and development content creators can use these frameworks to create relevant training courses. Industry competency frameworks also inform the competencies required for licenses, credentials, and certifications. Employees can upskill to be up-to-date with industry expectations for their role.


Macro View


As the diagram below shows a competency framework brings many uses and benefits.

National and regional governments use industry frameworks to inform their policy and funding decisions. Schools, colleges, and universities use frameworks to drive curricular and the competencies required to win a credential. As stakeholder Awarding bodies are key. Awarding bodies are also known as test publishers or certification authorities. Awarding bodies use frameworks to define the competencies requires for the certification programs that might be used to documents qualifications and grant credentials.


Competency frameworks underpin critical HR functions such as writing job descriptions, recruiting, interviewing candidates, learning programs, employee development, performance management, selection, promotion, upskilling, certification, and so on.


Finally, individuals use competency frameworks to inform their career choices.


Competency frameworks are dynamic


Competency frameworks are not stagnant management frameworks. Industry and business experts regularly update these frameworks based on economic, business, and technology changes. Competency frameworks must remain current to inform stakeholders. Industry competency frameworks provide governments, and regional economies, insights into trends to develop strategies, policies, and funding to grow the talent pool required for prosperity.


A Competency Framework is a collection of defined competencies is known as a competency framework. A competency describes what an individual should know and do to perform a specific role or a task. These are used to define one or more job roles within an industry or a particular organization.


Behaviors vs. Capabilities


Competence describes an individual’s ability to perform a specific task or activity successfully within a predefined situation. There are two broad categories of competencies; behaviors define how an individual should behave, and capabilities represent what an individual should know or be able to do.


The actual number of behavioral competencies referenced with a competency framework varies from organization to organization but is in the order of 4 to 15.


Capabilities define knowledge, skills, and abilities that an individual must be able to use to complete a task successfully. Sometimes granular levels of details define capabilities, and in some frameworks, only high-level definitions are documented. The number of capabilities referenced with a competency framework can range from tens to hundreds.


Competency definitions serve as a standard to assess and measure performance via differentiating levels such as “Needs Improvement or Support”, “Meets Expectation”, and “Exceeds Expectation.” Combining all of these thoughts a well-defined competency could be represented as: