Competency vs. Proficiency Model
Let’s take a minute to look at the difference between a competency model and a proficiency definition. A competency model is the traditional way to identify what needs to be included in a typical training program. A competency model breaks things down into three parts…Skills.. Knowledge.. and Attitudes. For example, an employee demonstrates good listening skills or an employee knows the features and benefits of our products are examples of competencies.
When you build a competency model you end up with a long list of items to include in training. The downside of this approach is that it often misses how competencies work together in different combination to produce a desired result.For example, knowing the features and benefits of our products is part of how a salesperson makes a presentation, answers questions and even fills out an order.
A proficiency model, on the other hand, looks at the world from a completely different point of view. Proficiency is both a measure of performance and a set of observable behaviors that describe what a proficient employee produces and how the employee must work to achieve those results. Think of proficiency as a picture or snap shot of what success looks like on the job.
So with these two definitions in mind, here is the important difference. With a competency model, you can master all the competencies and not produce the desired results on the job. In other words, all the pieces don’t add up to the whole.
With a proficiency definition, the end result is completely spelled out and training doesn’t end until the employee becomes proficient. The result is important rather than all the pieces and parts.