What is a competency framework and what should it include?

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David Clough
What is a competency framework and what should it include?

What is a competency framework? What should a competency framework include?

What is a competency framework?

Organisations typically employ people to perform a range of different job roles, tasks, or responsibilities. These job roles will have a range of skills that are needed to be able to complete tasks to an acceptable standard.

A competency framework is a structure that clearly defines all these job roles, the skills they need, and the acceptable standard at which an employee must perform.

The content of a competency framework will vary between different organisations, with the differences being governed by the skills, standards, and the industry sector that the organisation operates within.
Competency frameworks are essential for achieving high organisational performance by providing several significant advantages, such as:

Driving Standardisation

A competency framework will drive standardisation across the various areas of the organisation.  This will prevent departments working in isolation by improving visibility and management of your teams.

Increase Safety & Quality

Defining and communicating standards will increase your organisation’s safety and quality levels, as these expected standards can be clearly defined and monitored.

Efficient Recruitment & Selection

Recruitment and selection become much easier, as capabilities can be easily compared against requirements to efficiently close skill gaps.  Organisations can drastically reduce recruitment costs by internally identifying subject matter experts or candidates to fill positions.  

Increased Profits

Defined expectations help employees strive toward higher standards and improve their levels of proficiency. Effective competency management using a framework can therefore improve quality & efficiency, reduce waste, and increase profits.

What does a competency framework contain?

The framework will encompass all required hard skills that relate to technical ability as well as any generic soft skills that relate to HOW a person works, for example time management and listening skills. Any essential compliance skills related to health, safety and environment should also be present in the framework.

What most frameworks forget to include however, is the inclusion of competencies that go beyond core skills. Staff values and behaviours should form part of the framework to ensure an organisation has everyone pulling in the same direction.

To learn more about developing and managing competency frameworks, contact us, and one of our team will be happy to help!

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