What are models of professional competency, and are they of any practical use in day to day situations. The whole purpose of using a competency model is that it’s implementation has an outcome whereby everything from recruitment, training, and work performance can be assessed so that the Organisation, whether in the Public or Private sector, can achieve it’s stated purpose and goals effectively. It is important to note, however:
“…First, organisations are more than a collection of tasks and functions; they are also a complex social system. Actions, information and decisions are rarely neutral, in the sense that they serve some interests rather than others, shape the political environment in pursuits of power, prestige and status, and serve a variety of purposes for those involved, beyond the officially subscribed-to purposes of incorporation.”
Before any critique and comparison of competency models, it is necessary to describe the main elements and aims of the two I have chosen to compare and contrast. These are the Competency Framework for Public Sector Managers , and the MCI model .
The Competency Framework for Public Sector Managers lists five main competencies. These are:
Manage the Business
To manage the Business one must have the skills to implement the strategic aims of the Organisation. The main outcome of this would be excellent customer service. Managing resources includes physical assets and finances, without which it may be impossible to employ staff and offer any service at all!
Managing people is essential if teams are to work well and offer effective service, and this includes deciding where extra training may be needed. To manage communication is to be able to communicate with and between the customer, staff, upper management, and the general public, so that the service provided is adequate to local needs. This will mean that change could be a regular part of the workplace, and so one must have the ability to manage change with as little conflict as possible.
These, in turn, must be guided by the seven principles set down by Nolan Committee's First Report on Standards in Public Life . These are;
The Management Charter Initiative (MCI) model has four main aims for Managers. These are;
Develop a plan
Implement the plan
Review the process
Before attempting any of this, however, the Manager must have ten competencies. These are;
Focus on results
Search for information
Thinking and taking decisions
The reason there are so many competencies in this model is that they help to break down the needs of the Organisation to smaller functions until manageable activities are reached . For example, if a Manager wants to implement a rationalisation plan to achieve his/her goal of productivity then they must be assertive, especially if conflict is to be expected. At all times, while communicating to the teams he has built, he must act ethically if he hopes to influence people and reach his strategic goals.
The bottom line of the MCI model is to give the Manager the tools with which he/she can effect change while also developing skills of self-management and an ability to develop further plans and actions.
It is immediately obvious that both these models have the same goals, and while the priorities of each might be slightly different, (it would appear that the MCI model is more focused on assertiveness and change) they both cover the same ground of finding where strategic change is necessary and then giving the Manager the tools to carry out this change effectively. In fact, The Competency