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About the Build a Model and Career Ladder/Lattice Tools

What is the purpose of the Competency Model Clearinghouse Tools?

ETA has developed online tools to enable strategic partners to collaborate in building customized competency models and career ladders/lattices that reflect regional workforce needs. The collaborative process for building a competency model or career ladder/lattice is described in two documents in the green HelpLine box on the Build a Model page.

Who are the intended users of these tools?

These tools are intended to support workforce development activities. Users might be, but are not limited to industry associations, workforce partnerships, labor unions, colleges, businesses, Workforce Development Boards or American Job Centers. Visit the Models in Action section of the Competency Model Clearinghouse for examples of how competency models are used.

How can I build or customize an industry competency model?

The Build a Competency Model Tool enables you to build or customize industry competency models that can serve as the foundation for important human resource functions such as recruitment and hiring, training and development, career planning, and performance management. The tool lets you choose one of the industry models or the generic Building Blocks model as a framework to guide model development. View the Build a Model Tutorial for more information on how to use the tool.

How do I customize competency descriptions when building a model?

To customize competency descriptions you must first create the model with the Competency Model template tool and then save the model to a MS Word document. The text descriptions for any competency can be customized to ensure that the language 'rings true' for the industry or occupation in question. View the Build a Model Tutorial for more information on how to use the tool.

Is there help if you get stuck?

General instructions are available in the green helpline box on the left side of the screen. Links to specific sections of the general instructions are available on most pages. The helpline box also contains tutorials that demonstrate the functionality of each tool. View the Build a Model Tutorial for more information on how to use the tool.

Is there a fee to use this tool?

No.

Are the models I build open for public viewing or are they private under my account?

The models you build are private under your account.

Will the competency models and career ladders/lattices I develop be used by ETA?

No. ETA will not have access to the competency models and career ladders/lattices you develop unless you choose to share them by submitting your models and career ladders/lattices to WorkforceGPS.

How can I build or customize an industry competency model?

The Build a Competency Model Tool enables you to build or customize industry competency models that can serve as the foundation for important human resource functions such as recruitment and hiring, training and development, career planning, and performance management. The tool lets you to choose one of the industry models or the generic Building Blocks model as a framework to guide model development. View the Build a Model Tutorial for more information on how to use the tool.

Are the career ladders/lattices validated?

Career ladders and lattices consist of a group of related jobs that may comprise a career. They often include a pictorial representation of job progression in a career as well as detailed descriptions of the jobs and the education and experiences that facilitate movement between jobs. In reality, an individual must get the education, training, and work experience necessary to move to other jobs on the career ladder/lattice. The eight samples provided on the CMC Web site are theoretical examples designed to illustrate the concept. Collaborative development of career ladders/lattices helps ensure that the career ladders/lattices reflect actual possible career progression as well as accurate detailed information.

What is the difference between the validated models and the models I can develop with the Build a Model tool?

The industry models represent nationally-validated models containing cross-cutting, industry-wide competencies. The competency models you can develop with the Build a Model tool can be tailored for your regional economy, a specific industry-sector, or maybe even for a few key employers.

Can I use a validated industry model as the basis for a career ladder/lattice?

Yes. To do so, simply select Add New Model, choose a model to be the framework, and proceed through the tool checking Include All on each tier. When you click Save, the model will be available to serve as the foundation for your career ladder/lattice.

Where can I find career outlook/employment projection information?

On the Job Information screen, click on the Research Job Information tab. Enter a keyword, choose a location, and select relevant job titles to show job profiles. The job profile displays state and national employment trends as well as a job description, associated tasks, and salary/wage information.

How can I use the Career Ladder/Lattice Tool for occupations that don't lend themselves well to laddering, such as social worker?

For such occupations, the tool can still provide the structure and functionality to develop a career ladder/lattice, though the user must supply more of the detailed occupational information. A career ladder/lattice often contains job titles that are not at the O*NET-SOC occupational level. For example, Social Worker I, II, III might represent a ladder based on promotional opportunities from entry through experienced levels where the criteria for advancement are additional education and work experience. It is also possible to create a career lattice documenting different occupational specialties or related occupations. For example, Public Health or Child and Family social workers share many of the same knowledge and skill requirements but have a different focus on the population served. There are also promotional opportunities to manager or supervisor jobs. The O*NET OnLine Web site is a valuable resource for this type of information.

Is there a way to create career ladders/lattices for occupations that cross industry lines and sectors?

Yes. To create a career ladder/lattice for occupations that cross industry lines, you can use the Building Blocks Model to serve as the foundation that would be applicable to any industry.

Do the tools have the capacity to differentiate competency models and career ladders/lattices by state and/or regions?

The validated industry competency models were developed from a national perspective. The tools allow you to customize the models to accommodate state and regional differences. For example, states often have differing occupational licensing requirements. Customized models or career ladders/lattices could include that state's unique licensing requirements.

How would community college programs align with the career ladders/lattices?

Advancement along a career ladder/lattice is based on critical development experiences, which are described in terms of education, training, or work experience. Community college certificates and degrees could be included in the critical developmental experiences needed to move between the jobs described on the career ladder/lattice.

How can I collaborate with others to jointly complete a model developed using the online Build a Model Tool?

The CMC Build a Model Tool requires a user to create an account with a username and password. The tool was not designed for multiple users. Only one user can be logged in at a time. However, it is possible to share the log-in information (username and password) with colleagues so that each could provide input in turn.

Is there any way to share the competency models and career ladders that are developed?

To share models under development or completed using the Build a Model Tool, you may provide colleagues with the username and password information to login to the account. To share competency models and career ladders/lattices broadly as resources for use by workforce development professionals submit the finished products to WorkforceGPS.

Do the competency models and career ladders/lattices I develop need to be vetted or approved by ETA?

No. ETA does not have the capacity to review and validate competency models and/or career ladders/lattices developed by individual users. To increase buy-in, we recommend validating the model with your workforce development partners, local community, interested parties, and stakeholders.

Can the Build a Career Ladder/Lattice Tool be used to show stackable credentials?

Competency model graphics show the foundation, workplace and technical competency areas required in an industry. The pyramid framework reflects how competencies become more focused and specific as you move from the foundation competencies, to broad industry technical competencies, then to occupational specific competencies. The model serves as a framework for linking stackable credentials that workers can obtain to verify that they have attained the various competencies depicted in the model. The Career Ladder/Lattice Tool provides the functionality to list credentials (education certificates, degrees, industry and occupational certifications, and licenses) in the critical developmental experiences required to move laterally or upward on a career ladder/lattice.

Can I use the documents I create using the CMC Tools in publications?

Yes. The tools are in the public domain.