Competency Framework Template

Create actionable competency frameworks effortlessly. Our competency framework template includes 140+ competencies for ten departments. Download now.

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What's included

Competency framework template overview

Whether you're looking to enhance the skills of your sales team or elevate your engineers, our competency framework template Excel is your ultimate resource. With an expansive collection of 140+ core, functional, and technical competencies, it will guide your teams to peak performance.

This downloadable template includes:

  • A vast collection of key competencies: Get all the pieces of the competency framework puzzle: core, functional, and technical competencies tailored to the diverse needs of ten critical departments
  • Tailored to your needs: Whether you're in Product management, Finance, Customer success, IT support, or Business development, we selected relevant competencies to resonate with each department
  • Five mastery levels: All competencies span five levels of mastery—from basic to expert, catering to every stage of professional development; this structured approach ensures a clear path for career progression, making it easier to identify and bridge skill gaps
  • Performance metrics: Effectively measure and manage progress with 500+ performance metrics. These indicators provide a quantitative way to evaluate performance and improvements, ensuring that development efforts translate into tangible results.
  • Development activities: Accelerate growth with over 400 developmental activities. These practical, hands-on growth action items are designed to advance competency mastery and foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
  • Editable template: Feel free to add additional competencies or proficiency levels or edit the template down with the relevant competencies for your organization


How to use this competency framework template

Many organizations struggle with developing detailed competency frameworks that are actionable and broad enough to apply across departments.

By following these steps, your organization can develop a robust and effective competency framework that supports talent development and organizational success. This structured approach ensures that competencies are relevant, measurable, and aligned with strategic objectives.

Steps to follow:

  • Begin by identifying a set of core competencies that all employees should possess—this ensures a unified baseline of skills and behaviors across the organization (e.g., decision-making, communication, emotional intelligence)
  • Involve internal stakeholders from each department to identify relevant technical and functional competencies—this step ensures that the selected competencies cater to the specific needs and requirements of each department (e.g., creating performance appraisal systems, and designing retention strategies for HR professionals, SEO, and copywriting for marketing departments)
  • Develop detailed competency models for each department or role— Adjust the competency mix based on the nature of your organization; for instance, allocate more technical competencies for highly technical roles and emphasize leadership competencies if you are developing a leadership pipeline or have many managerial roles
  • Limit the number of competencies—Maintain focus by limiting the total number of core, functional, and technical competencies to a maximum of 12 per role
  • Include leadership competencies for senior roles—For senior levels and leadership roles, include leadership competencies, but keep the total number of competencies to a maximum of 15
  • Assign levels of mastery for all core, functional, technical, and leadership competencies—Define levels of mastery (e.g., basic, intermediate, competent, advanced) for each competency according to the specific roles within the organization
  • Customize performance metrics—If relevant to your talent management system, customize the performance metrics for each level according to your organizational objectives to ensure that performance assessments are meaningful and aligned with business goals

Remember, the quality and relevance of the competencies are more critical than the quantity. Ensuring that each competency is clearly defined and aligns with the organization's goals and values is essential.


What are the five components of a competency?

The five components of a competency are skills, knowledge, behaviors, attributes, and experience: 

  • Skills: Practical or technical abilities required to perform a job
  • Knowledge: Understanding or awareness needed to perform a job effectively
  • Behaviors: How someone conducts themselves in a professional context
  • Attributes: Intrinsic qualities or personal characteristics
  • Experience: The level and type of experience required for a particular role


What is the competency framework structure?

A competency framework has the following structure: 

  • Core competencies: Skills and behaviors required by all employees regardless of role or department
  • Leadership competencies: Competencies for those in managerial or leadership roles
  • Functional and technical competencies: Specific to a particular job or department
  • Behavioral indicators: Examples of how employees can demonstrate proficiency in each competency
  • Proficiency levels: Levels indicating the degree of mastery (e.g., basic, advanced, expert)

How do I create a competency framework template?

A competency framework template typically includes the following sections:

  • Competency title: e.g., Teamwork, Leadership, Customer focus
  • Definition: A brief description of what each competency means
  • Behavioral indicators: Specific, observable behaviors at various levels (e.g., beginner, intermediate, advanced)
  • Role-specific requirements: Tailored competencies for different roles or levels within the organization

How do you write a competency framework?

Creating a competency framework is integral to strategic human resource management. Here are the steps for developing a competency framework and its structure, including the key components.

  1. Identify organizational goals: Understand your organization's strategic objectives and values to ensure the competencies align with the corporate vision and direction
  2. Perform a job analysis: Conduct a thorough analysis of the roles within your organization—you can use job shadowing, interviews, and surveys to understand the key tasks, responsibilities, and skill sets showcased by your workers
  3. Determine core competencies: Identify the essential competencies across all organizational roles—some examples include teamwork, communication, and problem-solving
  4. Identify role-specific competencies: Determine competencies that are specific to each role or department—these should reflect the specific skills and behaviors necessary to succeed in those areas
  5. Develop behavioral indicators: For each competency, define specific behaviors that demonstrate the competency at various levels—these indicators help in assessing and measuring the competencies in action
  6. Involve stakeholders: Engage with team members, managers, and leaders to ensure the framework is relevant and accepted across the organization
  7. Review and update regularly: As the organization evolves, so should the competency framework—as a result, conduct regular reviews to keep the framework relevant and aligned with the business's changing needs

What does a good competency framework look like?

A good competency framework will showcase the following key characteristics:

  1. Clarity: Competencies have clear definitions with specific behavioral indicators that are easy to understand and apply
  2. Relevance: Competencies directly relate to job roles and aligned with organizational goals
  3. Specificity: Detailed descriptions that include behavioral indicators for each competency
  4. Scalability: The framework is flexible enough to be applicable across different levels and functions within the organization
  5. Measurability: Competencies include criteria that allow for objective assessment and measurement of performance
  6. Consistency:  Uniform application across the organization ensures fairness and equity in evaluations
  7. Adaptability: There is a review system that brings regular updates to the framework to reflect changes in the industry, technology, and organizational strategy
  8. Integration: Various HR processes incorporate competencies, such as recruitment, performance management, learning and development, and workforce planning

How do you embed a competency framework?

Embedding a competency framework involves integrating it into various HR processes and organizational practices:

What is a competency chart?

A competency chart visually represents the competencies required for different organizational roles. It typically includes:

  1. Role names: Columns or rows listing various job roles
  2. Competency names: Columns or rows listing the required competencies
  3. Proficiency levels: Symbols or color codes that indicate the required proficiency level for each competency per role
  4. Assessment data: Optional inclusion of current proficiency levels of employees for comparison

A competency chart helps quickly identify competency requirements, discover skill gaps, and plan development activities.

What is the difference between a capability framework and a competency framework?

A capability framework focuses on the broader skills, abilities, and resources needed at an organizational level to achieve strategic objectives. It emphasizes what needs to be accomplished and encompasses processes, systems, and organizational resources. In contrast, a competency framework targets individual skills, behaviors, and attributes necessary for specific roles within the organization. It describes how employees should perform tasks and includes behavioral indicators to assess proficiency. While a capability framework addresses the organization's overall capacity to perform, a competency framework hones in on individual performance and development within their roles.