Types of Competency Frameworks

Competency frameworks can be as large, elaborate and multi-dimensional as you could possibly imagine and they can be equally effective as a flat, simple matrix of competencies that everyone in the organisation should meet.

In reality, the structure of a framework is likely to be based on a range of competencies at a variety of levels.

The structure above shows the bottom of the pyramid focusing on the competencies required to demonstrate competence currently whilst the top two layers focus on future development. The bottom layers are likely to be imposed by the organisation but the top two should also be used to encourage personal as well as organisational development.

  • Foundation competencies are the behaviours, skills and knowledge that is shared by everyone in the organisation, e.g. communication.
  • Focus competencies are those related to a particular industry or profession, e.g. legislation or best practice guidelines.
  • Execution competencies are those required to currently carry out a specific role or level, e.g. customer service agent or customer service manager.
  • Potential competencies are those that the organisation would like to see an individual develop for the benefit of the organisation. At this stage, it is also important to encourage an individual to consider their personal potential competencies as well as those imposed by the organisation.
  • Aspiration competencies are those that an individual hopes to develop over a longer period and need not be connected to an organisational need either current or in the future.