Constructing a Competency Framework
What do you see as a major problem in constructing a competency framework? Do you find these
frameworks used regularly in your industry or culture?
Note: My industry is aviation.
Note: My culture is Arab culture.
Every field of operation requires a framework of competency. It is this framework that
acts as a guide to all the key players in the industry. A competency framework plays a crucial
role in setting parameters within which a given industry is to operate. It is through a competency
framework that the threshold is set and the excesses tamed. The aviation industry is no different
as it also requires a competency framework to help streamline its operations. However, just
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because a competency framework is necessary is crucial does not mean it is easy to come up
with and implement. Simmonds (2013) notes that practice and experience indicates that
constructing a competency framework in any field including the aviation industry has proven
very difficult. It is proven even more challenging when it comes to the implementation phase.
This paper seeks to unravel some of the challenges experienced in constructing competency
frameworks and the reasons therein.
What is a competency Framework?
Before delving into the importance and relevance of a competency framework, it is
crucial to understand what it is. This is a structure that is developed which outline the specific
attributes and qualities required for each position role in an organization. For instance, in the
aviation industry, a competency framework could entail outlining the desired attributes of a pilot
or the ground handling managers. This is to mean that any person who has the opportunity to
work in the position must meet a certain threshold and must not go beyond certain parameters.
Importance of Competency Framework
In an organizational setup, each employee will have different abilities, attributes and
skills. Yet, each of those skills brought on board fit in a particular role and not in another. For
example, it is a good attribute for a ground handling manager in the aviation industry to have
multi-tasking abilities. This will mean that he or she can easily accomplish more than one task at
the same time thereby help reduce backlog. However, this is not so for a pilot whose multi-
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tasking abilities could lead to a fatal accident. A competency framework therefore helps to
streamline each industry to ensure that those working in it have what it takes to perfectly produce
expected results (Landale 2009).
Challenges of Constructing a Competency Framework
There are various challenges that are encountered when seeking to a construct a
competency framework. One of the challenges is resistance from the industry players majority
who find it cumbersome to comply. Mathews (2015) argues that the process of fully fitting into
the competency framework means that all the shortcuts must be foregone and this may prove
more costly to the industry players. Often organizations tend to be commercial printed at the
expense of other crucial issues as safety measures. Construction of a competency framwork
thereby faces challenges due to lack of cooperation from industry players.
Due to the need to meet their commercial needs and interests, most of the industry
players in the aviation sector always resist the competency framework (Quinn 2013). It is not
until recently that the government has intervened using legislations. At present, in many
juridictions it is mandatory for almost all industries to have competency frameworks. This has
seen the resistance reduced as there is not much of a choice but to comply.
In an industry such as aviation, competency framework cannot be ignored. It is extremely
necessary that due to the sensitivity of the kind of services offered by this sector that competency
frameworks are stringent and all requirements to the core. It is necessary for all key players in
any industry to appreciate the fact that competency frameworks are to their benefit. Having a
competency framework in the aviation industry has helped reduced the number of plane crashes.
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This is because before a pilot is allowed to fly an aircraft, they must have met certain strict
Construction and implementation of a competency framework remains a challenge in
many industries. It is still remains an uphill task to convince those involved of the importance of
the framework. The best way to deal with this challenge is to get all the relevant people in the
industry involved in the construction of the competency framework (Whiddet 2013). For
example, in the aviation industry, pilots are more likely to appreciate a competency framework if
they take part in the construction process. This is certainly more effective than an already made
framework that is imposed on the key players in the industry. Perhaps it is the fact that relevant
stakeholders have always been left out of the construction process that the implementation
process has proven to be a challenge. When people own an idea, they always find it acceptable as
opposed to when it comes from another quota.
Competency frameworks have continually played an important role of streamlining
industries, bringing about uniformity and standard acceptable practices. By setting the
parameters of operation, mediocre practices are cut out while reducing any excesses that are
likely to be manifested. Competency frameworks are the solutions to loopholes that exist in
industries and various sectors of operation.
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Mathews, C, 2015, Innovation and entrepreneurship: a competency framework, California:
Taylor and Francis
Quinn, R, 2013, Becoming a master manager: a competency framework, London: John Wiley
Landale, A, 2009, Gower handbook of training and development, California: Gower Publishing
Simmonds, D, 2013, Designing and delivering training, London: Sage.
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Whiddet,S, 2013, A practical guide to competencies: how to enhance individual organizational
performance, New York: Prentice Hall