Identify Credential Competencies
|Audience: Curriculum developers, assessment developers, certifying organizations, license-issuing organizations, corporate trainers,
and technical trainers may find this page helpful.|
Competency models identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for success in an occupation or industry. Because of this, models are a
resource for developing credentials such as educational diplomas, certificates, and degrees; registered apprenticeship certificates; personnel certifications;
or occupational licenses that ensure workers are prepared to face work-related challenges and activities.
A credential is an award to an individual by a third party, with the relevant authority or jurisdiction, as a verification of
qualification or competence. Some examples of credentials include:
- educational diplomas, certificates and degrees;
- registered apprenticeship certificates;
- occupational licenses (typically awarded by State government agencies);
- personnel certifications from industry or professional associations; and
- other skill certificates for specific skill sets or competencies within one or more
industries or occupations (e.g. writing, leadership, etc.).
Refer to TRAINING AND
EMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE LETTER NO. 15-10 for additional information.
Competency models are a useful resource for developing the knowledge, skills, and abilities requirements
for a credential. The model provides the basis for identifying and prioritizing content prior to developing specific learning
objectives or performance standards.
A competency model can also be used to evaluate an existing credential to determine if the award
actually covers all the competencies required for successful performance in an occupation or industry. Refer to
Communicating Workforce Needs for more information on how models can be used to
help employers to communicate their workforce needs.
The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute used competency models to develop the Hospitality Skills Certification (HSC)
program. The HSC program is a competency-based certification program that recognizes employees for their knowledge and successful
job performance. For more information about this program, visit
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) maintains a competency-based infrastructure supported by related training and development
activities for managers and employees in key occupations. This infrastructure serves as the basis for career development programs,
professional certifications, and licensure programs. For an example of a competency-based licensure exam guides for different types of pilots or airmen visit:
Visit the Models in Action to learn about
the many additional ways competency models are being used.
- Identify the industry applicable to the credential being developed or evaluated.
- Select the industry model that most closely matches the selected industry.
- Use the Build a Model Tool to customize the model to the
targeted industry if necessary.
- Download competencies and key behaviors to the
Identifying Credential Competencies Worksheet. For more information, click on the Worksheet tab above.
- Use the worksheet to gather information from subject matter experts familiar with the requirements of the credential.
- Analyze the results.
The Identifying Credential Competencies Worksheet is a tool that allows subject matter experts to provide input on a credential's
competencies by formatting the contents of a competency model into a data input form. Using this form, subject matter experts can
rate the importance of competencies in the context of the credential, identify those competencies which should be required as part
of the credential, or suggest the required level of competence for key knowledge, skills, and abilities.
To download and use the Identifying Credential Competencies Worksheet, follow the directions below:
- Worksheets are available to download from each industry model page. After choosing an industry model, click "Download"
in the Helpline section on the left. You will then have the option to download that model as a worksheet.
You can also download your own customized model as a worksheet during the "Stop and Save" step of the Build a Model process.
- Edit the text or column headings as desired; suggested headings are provided.
- Use the worksheet to gather input from subject matter experts.
- Tally the input – count the responses.
- Analyze the results.
Below is an example of a completed worksheet being used to identify competencies for inclusion in a new credential.