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Using competence frameworks for CPD

What is competence?

We see competence as the ability to perform your work responsibilities to a high standard using an appropriate mix of knowledge, skill and attitude.
To determine whether you’re competent, you’ll need to define the specific and general knowledge, skills and attitude you need for your job and build a framework that you can assess yourself against.

Building competence frameworks can be tricky so the best way to start is to benchmark your job against similar roles in other organisations or sectors. In many areas, this work has already been done and you’ll be able to draw on existing frameworks for the basis of your personal competence profile. And if you work in a larger organisation, they may even have created their own you can use.

How do you identify the competencies you need?

Career Manager is a good place to start. There are a number of existing frameworks in place that you can pick and choose from, based on your job and the industry you work in:

  • UK-SPEC (CEng, IEng and EngTech)
  • ICTTech
  • SFIA
  • Control and Automation
  • Safety Critical Systems
  • Software Engineering.

You can also start from scratch if you work in a role or sector that’s very specific and not covered by the existing frameworks. We have a guide [PDF, 25KB] on how to start the process and how to define indicators.

How do you assess your level of competence?

Existing frameworks usually have a formal scale or grading system that you can benchmark against. But if you've created your own statements or framework, assessing your competence will be harder without indicators to measure against so you’ll need to set your own.

It’s important to check your competences regularly and to reassess yourself as you progress. Look back at least once a year to see if you need to change your level, and run it past a mentor who can act as a sounding board for ideas about your ongoing development.

It’s also worth mapping your desired level of competence against your current level to identify the areas you need to work on.

How do you record your competence?

Keeping a record of your assessments will help you show that your competence is increasing. Using Career Manager to log all your activities means that everything is in one place and you can easily build your portfolio as your career develops.