A competency framework is a structure that sets out to define key competencies and values within an organisation organised into role-based levels.
Competency models and frameworks were born in the 1970s with one purpose: to prove skills supported an organisation's vision.
Knowledge, skills and behaviours can all make up a competency model and the pre-defined list of 10-20 generalised capability areas is usually based on what attributes an organisation wants to see across their workforce then details different levels of capability for each role.
But teams often don't connect with formal frameworks because they don't resonate with the terminology that they are familiar with - the same words may mean different things to different groups of people.
Furthermore, the frameworks don't relate to the essential day to day skills they know they need in their role, or that they look for from others in their team and as such do not see them as an obvious part of their development.
[skil on- tol- o- gy]
Skills ontology is a categorisation of skills that builds a common language of skills, defining the aspects of a specific job rather than relying on blanket terms and vague descriptions.
Competency frameworks are not good at capturing the complexity of skills required at the team level, and a matrix of capabilities is simply mapped against role types instead of individuals.
So, the next obvious step was building a more relatable skills ontology framework. A structure where HR teams conduct a talent mapping exercise and attempt to audit the skills associated with every role within the business.
Skills ontologies tend to resonate with individuals better because the language used aligns with business as usual, for example instead of a blanket term like ‘communication’, you might see ‘microsoft teams’ or ‘delivering a presentation’ but in practice, they aren’t agile or practical either.
Trying to maintain skills from a single learning team is a scaling nightmare, especially when it comes to understanding the individuals and their BAU. That’s why they usually take a ton of time and effort to create.
But for us, it comes down to; why are you guessing what existing and new skills your business has or needs? Surely there’s a quicker more accurate model to measure and assess skills?