The What and Why of Competencies as Seen through CDF Training and SHRM’s new move

The HR world has been all a buzz with SHRM’s announcement of a switch to a competency-based certification.

In an email to members, the SHRM CEO stated,  “We believe a competency-based certification is the new standard for HR professionals around the globe. Our members have told us this; and we have listened.”

Regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with SHRM’s move, competency models are prevalent.  The career development world has been competency-based through its Career Development Facilitator Training for quite some time.

What is a competency?

Good ole Wikipedia provides us with this definition: A competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the identification, evaluation and development of the behaviors in individual employees.” 

Why I like competencies

Competencies are behavioral-based.  Whereas an assessment of knowledge is just that, knowledge that may or may not be acted upon or put in to practice, a competency begets action through behaviors.

If you have knowledge of something, you can tell me about it, but if you are competent in something, you can show me how to do it by demonstrating it.  You apply your knowledge and demonstrate it through your behaviors.  This aids others in learning through your behaviors.

What are the CDF Competencies?

CDF competencies emphasize the broad scope in which career development professionals practice.   They are:

  1. Helping Skills
  2. Labor Market Information and Resources
  3. Assessment
  4. Diverse Populations
  5. Ethical and Legal Issues
  6. Career Development Models
  7. Employability Skills
  8. Training Clients and Peers
  9. Program Management/Implementation
  10. Promotion and Public Relations
  11. Technology
  12. Consultation

To read more about the competencies click here.

If you are tied to the career development world in any way, are these things that you think you need to be able to DO not just know as they relate to delivering services to whoever your “client” may be?  If so, CDF training may be an option for you, as it provides a path that can lead to your Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) certification.

Among other reasons, the emphasis on GLOBAL may be why SHRM is driving towards a competency-based model.  The National Career Development Association (NCDA) already sees competency-based training, education and certification as the best method for preparing practitioners to operate in a global environment. It also emphasizes the need for the same standards of practice for a profession around the world.

More to come in our next post about the CDF competencies as we sample what a couple of them look through the doing of them, not just the knowing of them.

What do you think?  Is knowing something the same thing as being competent in it?   Is it all really just six of one and half a dozen of the other?

Mary Ila Ward

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