Competency (glossary)

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An observable, measurable set of skills, knowledge, abilities, behaviors, and other characteristics an individual needs to successfully perform work roles or occupational functions. Competencies are typically required at different levels of proficiency depending on the specific work role or occupational function. Competencies can help ensure individual and team performance aligns with the organization's mission and strategic direction. (OPM 2014)

a measure of an individual’s ability in terms of their knowledge, skills, and behavior to perform a given role (Holt and Perry, 2011)


U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework (HCAAF) Resource Center, "Glossary". Last accessed June, 2015.

Holt, Jon, and Perry, Simon,A Pragmatic Guide to Competency, Tools, Frameworks, and Assessment.BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, Swindon, UK, 2011.


There is disagreement in the literature on whether competency is only for individuals or if the term competency can be used at the team, project, and enterprise level.

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