Competency Model

The most fundamental requirement for recognition of competence is to define the level(s) or targets that must be met. The level of detail involved can vary between organisations and their specific requirements. For example, some organisations may choose a very simple grading scheme like the one below:

Competency Level Competency Definition
0 Not Competent
1 Competent

Alternatively, some organisations utilize a more sophisticated model that provides greater detail:

Competency Level Competency Definition
0% Not Competent (no prior knowledge, training, or experience)
25% Not Competent (Has attended training or experiential learning, but is not yet competent)
50% Not Competent (Consolidating skills & knowledge acquired from training)
75% Competent (is familiar with working practice and standards)
100% Competent to Train Others (can be considered an expert on this subject)

In addition to defining the levels of competence for a skill or function, a description of the function itself should be included. This is useful for new staff, and also for auditors, who may require further clarity on the meanings behind competency levels.

Generic & Specialised Competency Models

The above competency level descriptions make a generic competency model that could be used for many different skills within an organisation. In special cases however, specific contextual descriptions are required to specify exactly how competence is measured. This may occur for specialised skills that are not generic across the workplace, and require a high degree of ability to perform to a required level. The owner or specialist in that particular skill may wish to decide on which competency model is most suitable.

For example, a generic competency model may be used for all generic skills that apply to everybody within the organisation (such as basic Health & Safety subjects such as Fire Awareness, or for business-intelligence skills such as Company Awareness).

Competency Model Example

The following table shows an example competency model for a skill called Fire Awareness.

Skill (or Function/Task)
Fire Awareness
Familiarity with the organisation’s fire awareness and evacuation procedure
Aims & Objectives
To enable a staff member to be able to evacuate the premises safely in the event of fire

Competency Model for Fire Awareness

Competency Level Competency Definition
0% Not Competent
No prior knowledge or training with the company’s fire procedure
25% Not Competent
Is familiar with the evacuation doors
50% Not Competent
Is familiar with the evacuation doors and assembly points
75% Competent
Is familiar with the fire procedure, evacuation doors and assembly points
100% Competent
Is competent to train in any aspect of the company fire evacuation procedure