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Meaning of Competence and Competencies

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Presentation on theme: "Meaning of Competence and Competencies"— Presentation transcript:

1 Meaning of Competence and Competencies
Terms pervade much of HRM literature Terms are often used confusingly Competence – ability to carry out a specific task Competency – refers to behaviour

2 Government Initiatives
Investors in people Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) Learning and Skills Councils (LSCs)

3 Competence Movement Tension between what a trainee knows and what they can do after training Knowledge rather than practical skills carries status Government policy around schools – heightened emphasis on practical vocational skills

4 NVQs Bringing together a range of vocational qualifications
Developed for all occupational areas Five levels – basic to more complex

5 Training for Competence
Criterion related Developing ability of trainees to perform tasks related to job Expressed in terms of performance outcomes and specific indicators

6 NVQ Standards Divided into job roles
Key roles then subdivided into units of competence Then subdivision into elements of competence with attached performance criteria and range statements

7 Example – Level Three Management Standards
Table 17.1  Level three management standards

8 Principles of Competencies Leading to National Qualifications (1 of 2)
Open access Focus on what people can do Qualification same wherever training takes place Feature performance standards as basis of assessment Flexibility and modularisation Accreditation of prior experience and learning

9 Principles of Competencies Leading to National Qualifications (2 of 2)
Establishment of learning contract Flexibility in assessment achieved by the portfolio principle Continuous development Standards determined by designated lead bodies Assessment GNVQs

10 Problematic Aspects of NVQs (1 of 2)
Assessment process can be laborious A lot of terminology around NVQs Generality of standards leads employers to modify for own use Difficult to measure satisfactory quality of assessment Standards are reductionist Functional approach can be narrow

11 Problematic Aspects of NVQs (2 of 2)
Early management standards gave incomplete representation of management Lack of attention to learning and cognitive processes May not stimulate further development Some resistance to idea that educators are not competent to set the training agenda

12 Characteristics of Behavioural Competencies
Trait Motive Skill Self image Social role

13 Threshold Competencies (1 of 2)
Table 17.2  The seven threshold competencies identified by Richard Boyatzis Source: R. Boyatzis (1982) The Competent Manager. New York: John Wiley.

14 Threshold Competencies (2 of 2)
Table 17.2  The seven threshold competencies identified by Richard Boyatzis Source: R. Boyatzis (1982) The Competent Manager. New York: John Wiley.

15 Clusters of Management Competencies
Goal and action Leadership Human resourcing Focus on others Directing subordinates (Boyatzis, 1982)

16 Goal & Action Cluster Concern with impact Diagnostic use of concepts
Efficiency orientation Proactivity (Boyatzis, 1982)

17 Leadership Cluster Conceptualisation Self confidence
Oral presentations (Boyatzis, 1982)

18 Human Resource Management Cluster
Use of socialised power Managing group processes (Boyatzis, 1982)

19 Focus on Others Cluster
Perceptual objectivity Self control Stamina and adaptability (Boyatzis, 1982)

20 Directing Subordinates Cluster
Developing others Spontaneity Use of unilateral power (Boyatzis, 1982)

21 Typical Content of a Competency Framework
Figure 17.1 Typical content of a competency framework (Source: This material is adapted from The Competencies Handbook by S. Whiddett and S. Hollyforde (1999), p. 14, with the permission of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, CIPD House, Camp Road, London, SW19 4UX.)

22 Advantages of Behavioural Competencies
Way of expressing what is valued by an organisation Provide a critical mechanism for integrating HR practices to strategic approach to HR Competency framework can be used across HR practices Employees can be given a consistent message about what is valued and expected

23 Problematic Aspects of Behavioural Competencies
Complex research processes required Due to research process competencies will be backward looking May not include every aspect critical to superior performance A wider perspective needs to be taken People’s behaviour may not always be consistent

24 Summary IIP, SSCs and LSCs encourage the competence movement and NVQs
Competence is concerned with job standards and output Competency refers to behaviour or input Main vehicle for learning to achieve competence is NVQs NVQs continually criticised

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