Competency frameworks, when done well, can increase clarity around performance expectations and establish a clear link between individual and organisational performance. When developing and implementing a competency framework, care needs to be taken to balance detail with flexibility and avoid an overly prescriptive and non-inclusive approach.

This factsheet investigates the nature of competence and competency frameworks, both in theory and practice. Drawing upon CIPD research, it also explores the past and current landscape of competency frameworks, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of a competency-based approach and offering guidance in the effective development and implementation of competency frameworks.

CIPD viewpoint

What are competence and competency frameworks?

Basic principles of competency

Developing a competency framework

The practical use of competencies

Strengths and weaknesses

References

Further reading

This factsheet was last updated by CIPD staff.

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