Use of a Competency framework in Administration: Recruitment, Training and Promotions
(A Background Note)
Competency framework in administration encompasses learning and development opportunities to strengthen the professional capacity of administrative personnel in order to enhance proficiency in public service delivery and to address the public services and policy framework with an appropriate approach. A focus on competency increases the relevance of acquiring knowledge, awareness, and skills among professionals to make them better prepared to do their jobs. It reiterates efforts to develop critical knowledge and skills needed to improve organisational and individual effectiveness and performance, develop core competency for the niche job and foster a learning culture that respects career advancement
Competency frameworks are used to focus workplace performance on the organisation’s vision and values, provide a benchmark against which all individuals or a set of individuals can be evaluated for recruitment and selection, performance management, succession planning or promotion. It hones up an individual’s capability to respond to new challenges, and in turn enhance the organisation’s ability to respond to change by supporting and broadening of competency sets of its personnel. Each unit of competency is further defined in terms of elements of competency (e.g. Professionalism). These elements are the distinct transferable qualities that underpin the units of competency that are needed for competent workplace performance. Each element of competency is further defined by a set of performance criteria to ensure that each element is properly understood.
In the context of competency framework administration personnel need to become effective in delivering results. An efficient administrative setup needs to deploy the nation’s finest talent for this purpose. A suitable skill up-gradation is required to redesign the delivery mechanisms in the public space in an innovative manner based on past experience and best practices. To mount an effective strategy for creating competency framework there is a need to foster excellence in the public systems, and attract continuously the best talent and expertise while ensuring that they are citizen-centric. The thrust areas in this regard involve processes of civil service recruitment, capacity building, in-service training, promotion and posting strategies and career.
A competency framework in the civil services is a useful and effective means of integrating the human resource to be mutually reinforcing. For this purpose a set of competencies is to be identified and appropriate selections of them applied to each role in the process of recruitment, selection and promotion: The factors together with statements relating to mandatory qualifications, experience and motivation, inform or, in fact, become, the selection criteria. Then follows the process of identifying personnel needs at various levels in the organisation into the future and identifying pools of appropriate people within the organisation to fill those needs and mounting critical strategies for capacity enhancing by training. The third factor pertaining to career growth and performance appreciation comes in the form of promotions and awards. It involves the definition of roles or role levels in terms of the competencies required for successful performance and the assessment of individuals against those competencies. In this scale evaluations are directed at seeking information on how an individual performs relative to performance required on the role followed by clear-cut and fair promotional avenues.
Creation of such a framework is a long felt necessity, which is emphasized time and again by a number of committees, commissions, experts and others concerned with the professional handling of the vast administrative force of the country. Keeping this in view, this year’s Special Issue of the Indian Journal of Public Administration (July-September 2012) is dedicated to the theme of Competency Framework in Administration. We invite the views of administrators, scholars, HR experts and all those who keep a keen eye on the imperatives of building and nurturing a professional, competent and effective civil service. Contributors are requested to keep focus of their writing on the areas highlighted in the background note and share the views in the form of an original article within 2500-3000 word limit. The article can be submitted in a hard copy or in soft copy (MS-Word format) by post or through email to:
Shri Sunil Dutt, Assistant Editor