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Competency is Generic task or a function. The ability to put skills, knowledge and attitudes into practice in order to perform activities or a job in an effective and efficient manner within an occupation or job position to identified standards.




Competency can be defined as groups of related knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) needed by a person to perform a particular job [1]. It is thus the part of an individual's KSAs which can be observed and evaluated. The concept represents a HRM based view on managing knowledge embedded in individuals and is closely related to qualification of individuals.

The concept of competency is often mixed with the related job-task [1]. When describing competencies, a difference should be made between the required task and the competencies which allow a person to perform the task to a standard. These competencies may include knowledge and skills which are not directly connected to the specific task. For example to perform a maintenance task a person usually needs to understand the safety relevance of the task.

Relation to KM

The organization shall

  • determine the necessary competence of person(s) doing work under its control that affects its quality performance;
  • ensure that these persons are competent on the basis of appropriate education, training, or experience;
  • where applicable, take actions to acquire the necessary competence, and evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken;
  • retain appropriate documented information as evidence of competence.
NOTE Applicable actions can include, for example, the provision of training to, the mentoring of, or the reassignment of currently employed persons; or the hiring or contracting of competent persons.

Competency management

Development of competency


On-job training


Evaluation of competency



Competency model

Competency map

Competency loss risk assessment


[1] Training the staff of the regulatory body for nuclear facilities: A competency framework, IAEA-TECDOC-1254, 2001,

[2] Competency Assessments for Nuclear Industry Personnel, IAEA, 2006,

Related articles

Competency (disambiguation)


Competency map

Organizational competency

Knowledge asset

Human asset