by Patrick Allen, Vice President of Strategy and Development


We live in an empirical society.  What this means is that we use numbers in relation to specific concepts which are valued for offering evidence to support a claim. For instance, you know you have 12 oranges if you count the oranges you have and arrive at 12. We also measure things like temperature and think that a particular reading is indicative of ‘cold’, ‘hot’, ‘warm’ etc.  Some of the conclusions we draw are not related to the measurements we make at all. For instance, we can measure temperature to be a specific degree but have no way of linking a specific measurement to the concept of ‘cold’ or ‘hot’.  To says something is or is not hot or cold requires an opinion of the measurement based on value.

Money, like oranges, is counted by numbers. Organizations generally like to make and save as much money as they can. One way to achieve this aim is to measure how productive someone is in their job. The reason this is the case is because it follows that if a worker is productive, then the company should benefit from this productivity. Conversely, if a worker is not productive or is not working up to expectation, there is room for improvement. Competency assessments are a great tool at measuring how competent someone is in the role, which can directly relate to their overall productivity. In addition, the more competent someone is, risks in compliance and safety may also be mitigated.

Competency assessment offers a meaningful measurement of what it means for someone to be competent in a specific role and applies a thermometer for how someone can improve. By establishing this kind of measurement, an organization can benefit by knowing how competent their workforce is and where they can encourage improvement. This is meaningful for any organization that wants to increase their productivity and generate some star talent. Another effect of this kind of competency assessment strategy is that organizations enjoy less employee turnover as anxieties around expectations and roles are vastly reduced. Through competency assessments and implementation of competency-based training strategies, a workforce becomes more confident in their abilities and generates a healthy work environment.

I have highlighted a number of things above that are valued by organizations (e.g., income, productivity, employee retention). Through the use of competency assessments, these things can all be measured and evaluated to form an organized and useful assessment of a workforce. The end game is a boost in overall productivity, safety, ability to comply to regulations, and ultimately – a healthier bottom line.

The Competency Group are industry leading experts with over 20 years of experience in the development of functional competencies for a wide range of clients. For more information, please contact

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