Workforce Planning Portal

Competency Model

The Workforce Planning (WFP) model and the Tools used to implement the WFP steps are based on an integrated competency–based human resources model (PDF file). Although this phrase may sound intimidating – particularly to those who are not HR professionals – the concepts underlying the model are intuitive and straightforward.

What are competencies and why are they important?
We define competencies as the knowledge, skills, behaviors, personal attributes and other characteristics that are associated with or predictive of superior job performance. Examples of competencies include Decision Making, Influence, Stress Tolerance and Teamwork.

The ability to pinpoint the characteristics that differentiate the average worker from the exemplary worker is fundamental to a competency-based system.

Isn't having the right educational background and experience really important?
Having specific technical knowledge, education and experience is important, but it is not what usually distinguishes between average and superior performance. Having the right academic training and technical skills are often the threshold requirements for the job, serving as minimum credentials to make it through the screening process.

However, those with the strongest technical skills - and even prior experience - are not necessarily the best performers. For example, an employee with the greatest knowledge of social work principles and the most years of experience will not be among the best workers unless they are also able to make good decisions, be a productive contributor to the team, and form constructive relationships with their clients.

How do competencies tie into our gap-closing strategies?
The competencies you identify as being critical to successful performance in your targeted classification/s will serve as the foundation for your gap-closing strategies. You will use these competencies when you design your gap-closing strategies for all your HR processes, including employee selection, performance management and professional development.

For example, if you determine that Communication is a critical competency that your Child Welfare Caseworkers need to improve (a competency gap), you can:

  • Employee Selection: Select new workers who are skilled in Communication by developing interview questions that will help you learn whether applicants possess this skill
  • Performance Management: Target Communication in caseworkers' performance management plans and identify actionable guideposts related to it in order to track improvement
  • Professional Development: Identify specific training and development resources related to Communication in caseworkers' performance management plans





Competency Model








Performance Management


Professional Development


Succession Planning