Best Practices For Competency Modeling

Topic(s): competency modeling, job analysis, job performance
Publication: Personnel Psychology (2011)
Article: Doing competencies well: Best practices in competency modeling 
Authors: M.A. Campion, A.A. Fink, B.J. Ruggeberg, L. Carr, G.M. Phillips, R.B. Odman 
Reviewed by: Neil Morelli

Campion and colleagues provided 20 best practices for competency modeling from an experiential standpoint. They organized their list around three topic areas: analyzing competencies, organizing competencies, and using competencies. Although a more thorough reading of each practice is highly recommended, a few practices have been highlighted as being especially important.


In analyzing/identifying competencies, the authors suggest that the rigor of job analysis methodology should be applied to developing job competencies. Using multiple data collections, applying current survey methods, tying competencies to theory and literature, and validating competencies against organizational criteria were a few examples. In organizing/presenting competencies, it was suggested that different levels of proficiency be included to increase the range of uses for competency information. Lastly, in using competencies, the authors suggest thinking of competencies as an organization-specific “theory” of job success. Thinking of competencies in this way allows organizations to help predict job success as well as inform judgments about job-related outcomes.


Many more of the best practices could have been discussed, but what’s the bottom-line for organizations regarding the current state of competency modeling? If developed with some time and care, competency models can be an effective way of integrating business goals and strategy, job analysis-type information, organizational development initiatives, and human resource systems into one useful method.


Campion, M.A., Fink, A.A., Ruggeberg, B.J., Carr, L., Phillips, G.M., & Odman, R.B. (2011). Doing competencies well: Best practices in competency modeling. Personnel Psychology, 64, 225-262.

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