Thursday, 6 October 2011

Are Your Competencies Defensible?: More Questions to Consider

When considering whether your competencies are defensible, there are key questions you can ask:

Did you use expert ‘analysts’?
In reviewing complaints or challenges, courts and tribunals will often assess whether the analysts were qualified to undertake the competency profiling process. If the employer cannot demonstrate that the analyst had the necessary knowledge and competence to undertake the profiling process, the employer’s defence of the outcome (competency model / profile) will be in question. Typically, courts or tribunals will examine:

• the experience and training of the analyst in conducting job analysis and competency profiling processes; and,
• whether the analyst followed generally accepted and well-researched methodologies and standards - e.g. minimum standards / guidelines published by professional bodies (e.g., American Psychological Association; Society for Organizational Psychology; etc.).

Was the competency profiling process fully documented?
To demonstrate defensibility, the organization must be prepared to describe how the competency profiling was undertaken. Often, challenges occur some period of time after the competency profiling process was completed when the job analyst(s) is no longer available. If challenged, the organization must be in a position to demonstrate how the competencies reflect the ‘bona fide’ requirements for effective performance. To do this, the organization must be able to describe the processes that were followed in determining the competencies. If it cannot, the organization runs the risk of a decision being made against the employer, even though the competencies may reflect the true requirements for performance in the job or area of work.

Reporting and Documenting
The last step in developing competencies profiles is reporting and documenting. The ensure defensibility, make sure to document the following:
• The process and methodology followed
• The participant representation and criteria for selection – SMEs and stakeholder representation
• Stakeholder / participant contributions and roles
• Rationale for decisions
• Outcomes of all steps and drafts

What about off-the-shelf tools and processes?
Organizations often will buy ‘off-the-shelf’ or ready-made tools and processes. For example, full circle or multi-source (360 degree) questionnaires or services. These tools and processes are built on a predetermined model and set of assumptions about the competencies that lead to success, which may or may not be appropriate for your organization. Do your research and establish whether the competencies being assessed are the ones essential to your organizational success.

This post is based on content from 'Are Your Competencies Defensible?' by Human Resource Systems Group, Ltd.

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