Competency model

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Competency model is A representation used to understand and communicate a selected aspect of competency


Competency model represents an aspect of competency that is relevant to a nuclear organisation. The purpose is to help the organisation to understand and communicate their competency related issues. Competency model typically identifies at least the core competencies based on the organisation's strategy and provides a link to organisational competency needs and competency requirements for roles. Thus, competency model can be used as a tool to help an organisation to manage its competency. Competency model is often put in graphical form to enable communication of the essential features of competency needs, e.g. in a form of competency map.


Contents of competency model

Competency model presents organisation's most essential competency needs in a form that enables the organisation to take required actions. It identifies competency needs based on strategy and objectives of the organisation and demonstrates how the identified competency needs support the overall strategy and achieving objectives. Typically the competency model has a future oriented view and it is aligned with the vision of the organisation. Both individual and organisational competencies may be included competency model.

Competency map is one possibility for presenting the competency needs in a graphical form.

Competency model identifies a hierarchy for the competency needed in the organisation. It describes core competency, collective competency and individual competency.

Competency model should describe links from competency needs to requirements for roles. Typically, some competencies are shared by the whole organisation and competency model describes how different level roles should fulfill these, often very general, competency needs. When needed, more detailed models are created for different role families.

Benefits of developing and using competency model

Competency model provides the organisation with an efficient tool for managing organizational competency. By identifying core competencies based on strategy, it enables the organisation to align its competency related actions with strategy.

Competency model can also help the organisation to align their human resource related initiatives to their overall business strategy and improve the involved decision making process. Competency model creates the bases for setting job descriptions and competency requirements for individual roles. It helps creating job descriptions which are behaviorally based and aligned with the overall strategy of the organisation which improves HRD, career planning and recruitment processes.

Creating a competency model

Organizational competency mapping is one approach for creating a competency model that is linked to the overall objectives and needs of the organisation.

Competency framework for regulatory bodies

Fig 1 depicts a four-quadrant competency model developed for regulatory bodies. In this case, one general model is developed for the whole regulatory body and it is further refined for specific functions under the regulatory body organisation, e.g. technical tasks and legal tasks. This model is discussed in more detail in Ref. [2].

Fig 1. Four quadrant model for human competences in a regulatory body [2].

Competency based HR

Competency architecture used by Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) is illustrated in Fig [2] (Ref [3]).

Fig 2. Competency model used by Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) [3].


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

[3] Choi, Young-Joon,Plans for Competency-Based Human Resources Management in KINS, In International Conference on Human Resource Development for Nuclear Power Programmes: Building and Sustaining Capacity Strategies for Education and Training, Networking and Knowledge Management, IAEA CN‐215, 2014, pp. 59-62.

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