5 Key Features of a Competency-Based Assessment

Features of competency based assesment

Most jobs require some amount of prior knowledge or specific skills to carry out tasks effectively. In order to cultivate the most organized and efficient workforce possible, it’s important to track and measure your staff’s competencies and find out what skills they lack and to what degree.

For many organizations, the term “assessment” carries a lot of negative baggage for the team member being assessed —after all, it’s a judgment or rating. Often, it can mean that staff are being scrutinized without much direction on how to improve. Successful performance management programs incorporate not only assessments, but continued learning management initiatives that can provide positive reinforcement for the entire organization. Position your organization for success with these key features of an actionable, competency-based assessment.

1.) Defined Roles
Whether you’re hiring someone new or assessing an existing staff member, having job roles defined and communicated clearly is a major key. By having defined roles and managing expectations early on, you can support recruitment efforts, make the hiring process more efficient and provide standards for evaluating competencies and performance.

2.) Self assessments
While your overall performance management plan might include several types of assessments, starting with a self assessment can lay the foundation for others. By asking employees to take self assessments, you can begin to get an idea of their proficiency levels, find out where they feel insecure about their competency levels and start planning a continued learning program to get them up to speed. A few standard attributes of a self assessment may include:

  • A common rating scale
  • Fixed response
  • Free response
  • A report that highlights strengths and areas for improvement, as well as recommendations on an individual development plan and continued learning activities

3.) Supervisory Assessments
After a self assessment, you may want to administer supervisory assessments. This will allow leadership to communicate clearly with staff about expectations, put emphasis on goals and create a plan for improving skill gaps.

While supervisory assessments don’t necessarily need to be face-to-face, an in-person meeting can be revealing. It’s important to take note of things like body language and voice inflection when responding to questions, rather than just reading what a staff person expresses in writing.

4.) Continued Learning and Competency Development
No matter what format your assessments follow—self, supervisory, or other types—remember to include planning for continued learning and competency development in your assessment report. In addition to competency-based assessments, setting learning goals, improving skill gaps and teaching new skills are all important parts of your performance management plan.

5.) Competency-Based Assessment Software
You can have the most comprehensive performance management plan in the world, but without the right tools to make data easily accessible to everyone involved your plan will fall apart before it’s even rolled out.

Using competency-based assessment software, you can be sure that you have the tools to stay organized, easily evaluate results and make informed decisions. Our online competency assessment software includes skills-based assessments, relationship management features, results comparison reports, and more. Learn more about our skills assessment software, WebMentor Skills™, or contact us for a demo.

6.) BONUS Key: Feedback
A performance management plan only works if your workforce does their part. Keep your staff motivated to participate and give feedback about assessments and continued learning activities.

To have the most effective performance management plan and assessments, it’s important to regularly listen to your workforce and make changes based on their recommendations.

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