Competency models identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to successfully perform critical work functions in an industry or occupation. Creating competency models enables us to develop information that assists businesses, educators, and workforce professionals in identifying the skills needed for success in 21st century careers. Competency modeling is a critical component of developing career pathways systems within industry sector strategies.
Competency models are the foundation for important human resource functions, such as recruitment and hiring, training and development, and performance management, because they specify essential requirements for selection, training, and development. Competency models can be developed for specific jobs, job groups, organizations, occupations, or industry sector and clusters.
Competency models are developed using a set of “building blocks.” These blocks are arranged in tiers with each tier containing a set of related competencies. The arrangement of the tiers in a pyramid shape represents the increasing level of specificity and specialization of content. As a user moves up through the various tiers of the model, the competencies become more specific to certain industries and/or occupations. The nine tiers are grouped into three categories: Foundational Competencies, Industry-Related Competencies, and Occupation-Related Competencies.
Skills gap analysis is a related area of our expertise, and is a foundational component of developing industry sector strategies and building career pathways within targeted industry sectors. Using industry-validated competency models, we create skills inventory and assessment models that map workforce skills relative to current and projected demand. Skills gap analysis can be conducted at the individual job or occupational level, or at larger organizational or industry sector levels. Once critical gaps in foundational, industry-specific, and occupational skills have been identified, responsive strategies can then be developed, such as development and deployment of new education and training courses or programs, enhanced foundational and developmental educational support, or implementation of work-based contextualized learning strategies.