Key components of a great competency management system

Competency management systems can seem like a confusing topic. With so many different systems and so much information, how do you know which one is right f

Competency management systems can seem like a confusing topic. With so many different systems and so much information, how do you know which one is right for your business? The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors. Are there specific roles in your company that require specific competencies? Do you have a strategy for training new talent or should you look elsewhere? Finally, what will be the cost of changing over to a new system versus trying something new for now? 

The good news is that most companies can use some sort of competency management system no matter their size or industry. Think about it — almost every company has some kind of job function. If you look at all of these factors, it’s not difficult to see why most businesses are already using some kind of competency management system. 

In this blog post, we’ll cover the main components needed to create a credible competency management system and provide examples from other businesses that already have one.

What is a competency management system?

A competency management system is an approach used to determine and evaluate specific competencies or knowledge needed for job roles in an organisation. Competencies allow employers to assess job candidates and manage training needs.

The easiest way to understand competencies is to think of them as a “competency library” for your company. This library is used by HR and hiring managers as a reference for job requirements. If a role needs to learn a specific skill, it goes into the library. When someone takes on that role, they’re expected to come out of the gate with certain fundamental skills. When a role changes hands, the new employee can pull the appropriate skill out of the library.

Developing your competency strategy

Before diving straight into implementing a new competency management system, here's what you need:

Competency model 

The first component of a competency strategy is the competency model. Your competency model will help you determine the core skills needed for all roles in your company and thus what you need in a competency management system. For example, if you serve as a medical billing services provider, your model might look like this:

  • How do customers communicate their medical information? 
  • How do physicians communicate medical information to patients?
  • How do medical providers communicate medical information to other providers?

Because each role may require slightly different skills, your model will differ slightly from another company’s model. However, the idea should be clear — you’re creating a “library” of core skills that are required for all job roles in your company.

Overarching strategy  

Finally, a competency management system will also include an overarching strategy. Implementing a new system will never work if there is no strategy behind it. So think about the reasons behind implementation, who your key stakeholders are, when it needs to be implemented by and so on.

Key components of a competency management system

Competency library

A competency library is essentially the documentation of all necessary skills and information a staff member needs to complete their job. In other words, your standard operating procedures (SOPs). In an ideal world - or an Ideagen Op Central world - you’ll have all of these SOPs housed in an operations manuals management system. A system like this will help you to easily document, share and manage all of those SOPs that contribute to employee competency.

Training and development tools

Any good competency management system will have robust training and development tools.  Make sure you are creating adequate training programs with many different assessment types depending on the competencies you’re assessing. This will give you the most accurate results and will ensure your staff are fully skilled.

Reporting system  

Reporting is an essential part of a competency management system. Without reporting, you won’t be able to say for sure what parts of your competency strategy aren’t working and you won’t be able to see who is properly skilled. 

Any competency management system you choose, should give you expansive advanced reporting capabilities that allow you to break up the data by several different factors and allow you to present the data in a meaningful way.

If you choose to implement a new system without doing any research and without thinking through the long-term implications, it will fail. You need to have a strategy for C-system implementation. That strategy should include how you plan to train and educate employees on your new system. The strategy should also include how you plan to manage the transition from one system to another.

Bottom line

The bottom line is that a good competency management system can be a game changer for your company. A good competency management system can help your business attract, hire, and retain top talent. It can help you better understand where your employees stand in terms of skill level and provide you with a detailed picture of training needs.

Moreover, a good competency management system can help you better manage your costs and save time while doing so. It can also help you reduce the risk of staff turnover because you’ll have a better sense of the skills required for each role.

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