We place an emphasis on competency frameworks as a way to build the skills of an organisation and equip it for future successes.

What are competency frameworks?

Competency frameworks are based on “competencies”, the idea that workers have a particular combination of behaviours, skills, knowledge and attributes that enable them to do their job effectively.

The behavioural competencies movement began with Harvard researcher David McClelland and was built on by organisational theorist Richard Boyatzis. These scholars found that not only were certain types of behaviours linked to success, but also that these behaviours could be taught and encouraged to enhance the capabilities of an organisation.

Using this idea, competency frameworks identify the types of behaviours and skills that an organisation needs in order to succeed and highlight possible areas for improvement. The frameworks then guide recruitment and management processes that can be put in place to find the right people and develop them in the right ways.

Building a competency framework

1. Identifying Benchmarks

We gain an understanding of your organisation’s performance environment and business needs at a strategic level. This involves working with you to establish a clear idea of the performance expected within your organisation and the functions and processes necessary for success. To ensure a successful outcome, it’s important to involve the people performing the roles so you are evaluating real jobs and describing real behaviours.

2. Mapping high performance

During this stage we identify the highly successful members of your organisation and conduct a series of behavioural interviews and focus groups with them. Through this research we gain an understanding of the behaviours and skills that makes a person successful in their role. These competencies are then mapped against particular jobs and operations and developed into a framework.

3. Validation of framework against performance benchmarks

We refine the framework and implementation of the programme using self and observer ratings, performance data and benchmarking.

Each stage will be tailored to your organisation’s needs. Our main priority when creating a framework is that it is clear, easy to understand and implement, and works for your company.

Why do they work?

Competency frameworks are successful due to their individualised nature and the focus placed on indicators and benchmarks of desired skills and behaviour. They are well regarded in both the private and public sectors and have become an established part of HR best-practice around the world.

A Comprehensive Industry Study found that 86% of HR managers considered competency-based management essential to performance management.

Organisations with fully developed competency management programs have a significant impact on key business indicators.


more likely than other organisations to have increased revenue over the last year.


more likely to have increased customer retention over the last year.


more likely to have increased market penetration over the last year.


more likely to have increased customer satisfaction over the last year.


more likely to have increased employee engagement over the last year.

Source: Brandon Hall Group 2017, Competency Planning & Management Study (n=449)

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