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Guidelines to Developing A Competence Model

Editorial Team
10/01/2020 5:13 PM

is a method of breaking the job into its constituent
parts and identify specified skills, knowledge, personalities and behaviours
needed to perform the same successfully. Competency profiling determines the
extent to which the various competencies related to a job are possessed by an
employee. A competency Model is
a  set of competencies and includes
associated behaviours that link directly to overall strategic priorities and
the work that needs to be done to achieve them, as well as to levels of
proficiency for each behaviour. According to Roe (2002), competencies
are a set of personality traits,
knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviours
that an employee applies in
performing his/her work and are the key employee-related levers for achieving results that are relevant to the
organisation’s business strategies.

Why is it important for you
to have a Competency Framework?

  • It gives you guidance
    on how to assess, plan, and manage the development of your employees.
  • It provides a means to
    translate your organisations’ vision and goals into expected employee
  • It Identifies  areas for employee development that are
    directly linked to desired outcomes and organisational objectives
  • It provides a platform
    for an objective dialogue between managers and their subordinates about
    performance, development and career-related issues.
  • It provides an
    assessment process that allows you to identify the strengths and development
    needs of your employees within the competency framework

are the objectives of Competency Profiling?

  • To align your
    competency framework to the vision, mission, values, and strategy of your
  • To create the  job families in your organisation
  • To identify  organisational, functional and job-specific competencies
  • To define proficiency
    levels for each competency cluster
  • To classify the
    competencies into clusters and sub-clusters
  • To measure the gap in the required and existing
    level of competencies and recommend solutions to develop them. 
  • To develop personal
    competency development paths for your employees
  • To map your competency
    framework to your human resources processes and systems
  • To validate  the competency framework for your

are the Key Deliverables of Competency Profiling?

  • Synchronization  of your vision, mission, values, and strategy
    with your competency model
  • Creation of job
  • Identification of
    organisational, functional and job-specific competencies
  • Definition of
    proficiency levels for different competency clusters
  • Classification of
    competencies into clusters and sub-clusters
  • Assessment of
    competencies among your staff
  • Calculation of
    competency gaps among your staff
  • Development of personal
    competency development paths
  • Mapping of your
    competency model to your human resources systems and processes
  • Validation of your
    Competency Framework

Phases for Developing and Validating your Competency Framework

Step 1: Organisational Context Review

This stage involves the review and assessment  of all the factors that influence the employee
behaviors the model is trying to improve and these include among other things:

  • Organisational culture
  • Organisational structure
  • Organisational processes and systems
  • Customers
  • Employee relations

Step 2: Definition of your  Business Goals and  Objectives

This step involves the review of your vision, mission, values, strategy,
and  identification of your
organisation’s  goals and breaking them
into your competencies.

Stage 3: Creation of Job Families

A job
is a collection of related jobs that
require employees having similar knowledge, skills and abilities at different
levels. Thus, a job family has jobs at progressing levels defining a career
path for an individual, with an incremental requirement of similar knowledge,
skills and abilities. All jobs in a given job profile require
a similar educational background, experience, competences, and market value.
This phase involves the identification and classification of jobs into families
based on the following criteria:

  •  similar knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • have a continuum of
    knowledge, skills, and abilities that represent a career path from the lowest
    to the highest level job
  • possess associated and
    related key behaviors
  • have similar market
    competitive pay characteristics and conditions

classification of jobs into families allows your organisation among other
things to:

  • determine whether it
    has the capabilities needed to achieve maximum impact and to locate where those
    capabilities are found
  • set job requirements at
    the corporate level for similar jobs
  • view potential matches
    and bridges for in-house mobility
  • provide corporate
    learning opportunities
  • design structured
    career development  programmes

Stage 4: Identification of    Competencies

stage involves theidentification
and specification of competencies at organisational, business unit, team and
job level. The competencies will be further decomposed into core
competencies, job family competencies, technical competencies, and leadership
competencies and behavioural indicators.

Organisation specific -competencies reflect the core
values of the organization and are usually specified by the founders. People
are the face of the organization. They are expected to exhibit a set of
competencies and behaviors that reflect organizational character to certain
standards that are non-negotiable and these include  among others ethical conduct and integrity. Core Competencies are those competencies that
contribute the most towards achieving strategic results. Technical/Functional Competencies are job-specific competencies
needed to perform a particular position.
are determined by responsibilities and the accountability levels of that role. Leadership Competencies are related to managing an
organisation or department and leading people. Behavioural Indicators describe the actions required to demonstrate
a particular competency.

 The following methods will be used for
gathering the data.

  • Strategic Job Analysis
  • Key Expert  Interviews
  • Focus Group discussions

Stage 5: Classification of Competencies

Having identified the
various competencies, they need to be categorised into competency
type, sub- competency cluster, competency definitions,
competency level and appropriate behavioural indicators which are categorised
in a logical structure

Step 6: Define levels  of  Proficiency on Competencies

levels of competency mastery will be defined to reflect the progression of the level
of expertise. Each competency level will be associated with a  specific set of indicators to describe the
behavior and skills required at that particular level. The level of mastery
expected for a given competency increase as the responsibility and scope of the
position dictate.  Both core and
functional competencies are therefore further differentiated by levels to
account for these differences in scope, breadth and depth of responsibilities.
However, it is important to note that competencies are cumulative i.e. the
basic behavioral indicators at lower levels also apply to all subsequent
levels. Below is an illustration
of how we are going to differentiate the different competence proficiency
levels for each functional area.

Step 7:  Assessment of Competencies

purpose of the assessment is to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses to
determine how further development could improve competence and results. At this stage, all the affected employees
will be assessed against performance competencies and personal competencies.
This   will be done by administering
scientifically validated instruments to the employees that are outlined below:

  • Psychometric Tests 
  • Assessment Centres
  • 360-degree feedback
  • Personality Tests

Step 8:  Establishment and Calculation of Competency Gaps

Competency Gap is the difference between the current competency level
of your employees and the required competency level. This will be calculated
using a mathematical formula.

Step 9: Development of Personal Competency Development Paths

 This stage involves the development
of personal competency development plans to bridge the competency gaps
determined at step 8. The plans will prescribe activities that seek to bridge
the competency gaps that will have been identified in stage 4.

Step 10: Validation of the Competency Model

Having identified the
distinguishing characteristics of superior performers, the model should be

  • Concurrent cross-validation: This involves collecting
    data from a second criterion sample of superstars and average performers.
    Scores from this group can then be used to see if the competency model based on
    the first study predicts the superior and average performers in the second sample
    • Development of tests: Tests can be designed to
      measure the competencies described in the model and used to test people in a
      second criterion sample of superior and average performers
    • Predictive validity: Given that the primary
      objective of a competency model is to predict performance, the most powerful
      way of validating the model is to train people in using the competencies and
      see if these people actually perform better in the future

Stage 10: Mapping the Competency Model  to Human Resources Processes and Systems

Competency Mapping is the process of identifying critical
competencies and incorporating them in all people management processes like
training, performance management, succession planning, recruitment and
selection. Competency
mapping is integral to competency management.

Stage 11: Develop a Competency Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

It is
the process by which individual competencies are assessed periodically with
respect to required skills, their competency gaps and changes are monitored,
and suitable actions are taken to address them.

Why Competency Tracking is

  • Competency
    tracking validates—or reveals the shortcomings in a company’s workforce
    training and development efforts.
    • Competency
      tracking can help in predicting productivity. A competency management system
      can assist in matching employee competencies to role requirements and predict
      productivity by using information about the number of years of experience of an
    • It
      helps to keep up with advances in technology, enabling the development of a
      wider range of capabilities.

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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