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Competence Profiling made simple

Editorial Team
04/12/2019 5:22 PM

Designing a Competency Model for your organisation

What is  a Competency Model?

A Competency Model is
a   set of key behaviours required for
excellent performance in a particular role. Excellent performers on the job
demonstrate these behaviours much more consistently than average or poor
performers. These characteristics include the key behaviours that primarily
drive excellent performance. They are usually presented with a definition and
key behavioural indicators.

Snap Shot of Competency Modelling

The root of competency modelling can be traced back to
the work of a noted psychologist called David
In his article  ‘Testing for Competence Rather Than
McCelland (1973), strongly argued that assessment tools such
as intelligence tests predict academic performance more than success on the
job.  He further argued that
organisations should not concentrate on testing for traits related to
intelligence that are divorced from practical outcomes,   the best test for selection and employment
purposes would be one that assesses real job skills. According to Schippmann
(2000), the notion of competency modelling has gathered such
momentum that in 1997, The Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology
commissioned a task force to investigate and review the practice of Competency

Are the  Driving Forces Behind Competency

According to  Schippmann (2000), the competency
modelling process includes a substantial effort to understand an organisation’s
business context and competitive strategy. It establishes a direct line of
sight between individual competency requirements and the broader goals of the

  • To
    translate the organisations’ vision and goals into expected employee
  • To
    identify areas for employee development that are directly linked to
    desired outcomes and organisational objectives
  • To
    identify the gap between present skills sets and future requirements.
  • To
    set more effective criteria for developing and evaluating performance.
  • To
    provide a platform for an objective dialogue between managers and their
    subordinates about performance, development and career related issues.

are the measures of success for competency profiling?

  • Determination of clear
    competencies for your organisation requirements
  • Identification of competence
  • Development of competence
    development plans that address identified gaps
  • Improved efficiency and
    productivity across all levels within ZUVA Petroleum by ensuring that
    employee competencies are developed to desired levels
  • Development of learning and
    development plan and provision of resources to impact on relevant
    competencies for each employee
  • A detailed report with individual employee
    current competencies compared with required role competencies and
    individual competencies gaps if any.
  • A detailed set of recommendations on the closure of employee competency gaps where

are the key milestones underpinning  the
process of competency profiling?

Below is a brief
overview of the steps  that you as an
organisation might need to consider when designing your competency model.





Project Inception Report

Convene a Project Kick –Off Meeting


Collection of relevant data

Literature Review of relevant documents


Identification of Competencies at each level

Key Expert Interviews


Assessment of Competencies

Psychometric TestsInterviewsAssessment Centres



Data Analysis and Interpretation

Using scientifically validated tools like  Cronback Alpha


Benchmarking and Validation of the Competencies

Comparative analysis of competencies you desire
against competencies of organisations of similar standing


Development of a competency dictionary

Define all the respective competencies


Development of a
Transition and 
Sustainability Plan

Design an Implementation Plan

the light of the above it is foolhardy for any competent manager to wake up  one day and say here are the competencies of
this particular job. What should happen first is that your organisation needs
to conduct a validated process of coming up with competencies for  its respective roles  rather just pluck from the internet
irrelevant competencies. It is a matter of regret that most organisations use
competencies which are not aligned to their strategy.

Wikirefu is the Talent Acquisition Manager at Industrial Psychology Consultants
(Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.

Phone +263 4
481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or cell number +0784 597343 or email:
newturn@ipcconsultants.com or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com

Editorial Team

This article was written by one of the consultants at IPC

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