Hi,We are implementing competency frameworks/academies in my organisation and I was wondering what experience members have had implementing similar schemes in their organisations?What systems do you use to record progress? How did you achieve business buy-in?Thanks.

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  • Hi Tracey

    Hope you're well

    In the past few months we have developed our own framework of business and technical competencies. We've developed these with our business areas and have now completed a piece of work looking at what existing learning solutions we have at each level. We have four levels, one being new employee level and four being senior management.

    What we have found (not surprisingly) is that we have learning solutions that meet our level one and two competencies but large gaps in any formal training solutions at levels three and four.

    Have you found this as well and if so how have you tackled this?


    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Over the last year we have developed competency frameworks for a variety of job families, more recently we have been working on our People Manager framework.

      I think it's true of any competency framework that unless there are formal qualifications that need to be achieved for a role, the higher the level, the more onus is on the individual to identify their own solutions. That's not to say we leave them to it! I think what I'm saying is that informal learning becomes much more apparent the higher the level.

      How do we measure informal learning? Well we can measure against basic evauation criteria, but the true measure is whether the informal learning allows the individual to experience and practice the skill enough to be able to prove their competence in it.

      We do offer our senior managers a virtual learning environment which includes books, online video clips, white papers and an online commnunity to share experiences.

      I think once we get to levels 3 and 4, it is very much down to individuals identifying what works for them.

      What do you think?
    • Hi Tracy

      I think we are in the same place as at level 3/4 the technical competencies are very much based around the application of specialist knowledge. Whilst like you say some competencies can be linked to formal qualifications, as an L&D function we would like to provide learning solutions for all the competencies however we've come to the conclusion that a much more informal approach needs to be adopted and individuals need to drive their own continuous development.

      We very much want to play a part in this so we can encourage and lead people to learning that they really don't know is available or how to access. We also use Skillsoft and Books 24/7 and a range of other resources like the ones you mention above and want to set up communities across our organisation to share knowledge and experience.

      Will keep you posted how we get on

  • They are driven internally as a way of documenting what "good performance" looks like and a way of uplifting capability.
  • Sounds like they are very useful and are really helping you understand and identify gaps in existing solutions and also helping drive new initiatives where learning objectives can be clearly linked to business objectives.

    Are these competency frameworks something that the FSA have indicated as a must have or something that has been driven internally?
  • Hi Mike,

    Yes we are planning to build the frameworks into our induction processes. Through identifying the competencies we do sometimes identify gaps for solutions which means that any new solutions that are developed already have clear objectives (to meet the competency definition requirement) and therefore are easy to evaluate.


  • Thanks for the update Tracey

    Do you build the schemes in to your inductions and development programmes?

    Do you also use them to validate any new learning solutions and included in E&M?

  • Hi,

    We've implemented quite a few schemes in different business areas since my last post!

    What we find is that there are 2 reasons the business want competency frameworks:

    1) purely for career development and mapping
    2) to measure and uplift capability (these require submission of documentation to support achievement of a competency and online reporting is a must

    Key points are:

    - the writing of the competency definitions has to be owned by the business (not generic competencies but specific business area and technical competencies - as the people who will be using the framework need to be involved in the build

    - it takes some time and investment to build but once in place the feedback we've had is "why couldn't we have had this sooner - it makes it much easier for me to identify development gaps for my people and myself".

    - don't get tied down with specifics - it's good to have a certain amount of detail included and it definately needs to be measurable but stick to the key points.

    I could go on and on and each area we work with to implement a framework presents different challenges. However, what we do know is that they are making a positive difference.

  • In the NHS we have a very well researched Leadership Qualities Framework, (LQF), which is quite widely used. There is a 360 degree feedback system that uses the same competencies (not all the levels) but helps staff identify their development needs on the basis of the feedback they receive and their own views. For certain levels within the organisation it is possible to choose courses that address specific competencies through NHS Leadership training. If a group of people all do their 360 degree feedback, it is possible to get a group report produced in addition to the individual reports. A group report can support team development and highlight particular strenths or weaknesses that can be addressed in a group/team setting.

    It is possible to use the LQF system for jobdescriptions so that the holder of the post is very clear about the requirements for the post and possible develpment needs as a result.

    All this is available and excellent material, it is however not always easy to get everyone involved!
    • Hi everyone,

      Thanks for your responses.

      I have another question - how do you measure against the competency framework - through your Performance Management process or as an add on to the Perf Mgt process?

      Our perf mgt process is system based and focuses on objectives and behaviors. I'm envisaging our competency framework will focus on the skills that underpin each role (whilst making the link to the generic behaviours).


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