The Handbook of Competency Mapping: Understanding, Designing and Implementing Competency Models in Organizations


Seema Sanghi

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  • Text Size

  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Copyright


    To Pradeep, Prateek and Sakshi

    List of Tables

    List of Boxes

    • 3.1 Interview Rating Form 59
    • 3.2 Behaviour Examples 61
    • 3.3 Competencies with a Range of Observable Behaviour on a 5-point Scale 62
    • 3.4 Succession Planning Candidate Evaluation Form 65
    • 3.5 Succession Planning 66
    • 3.6 Format of Competency-based Applications 67
    • 11.1 Competency Model for HR Head 241
    • 11.2 Competency Model for HR Manager 246
    • 11.3 Competency Model for HR Executive 250
    • 13.1 Leadership Competency Model for Automobile Industry 273
    • 15.1 Competency Model: HPCL 310
    • 15.2 Competency Profile—HPCL 311
    • 15.3 Individual Development Plan Form (A Sample) 312
    • 15.4 Competency Model— GHCL 316


    Over the years, ‘competency mapping’ and ‘assessment centre’ have become necessities not only to the private and the public sectors but also to the government sector. Public services commissions of various countries are also taking initiative to bring in reforms through developing competency-based selection methodology. The author's insight into the subject has further deepened after her association with the United Nations Development Programme for Public Service Commission as an international consultant in developing competency framework and designing assessment centre methodology. In recent years, author's knowledge on the subject has further expanded through various consultancy assignments, as an advisor on competency mapping to a power sector organization, a key note speaker at the Institute of Banking, Saudi Arabia, offering certified courses to corporates and business schools, conducting programmes for assessors and a large number of training professionals and conducting workshops across various sectors. Today, the top management and bureaucrats are keen to develop a competency framework for their organizations, to build robust selection and other human resources (HR) systems. It has also been realized that borrowing the available models might be a good starting point but customization is necessary—sooner or later one's own model and internal team has to be developed.

    In This Edition

    The content in the chapters Introduction to Competency Mapping (Chapter 1), Competency Models (Chapter 2), Competency-based Applications (Chapter 3), Issues Related to Developing Competency Models (Chapter 4) and Resistance and Recommendations (Chapter 9) has been elaborated in this edition. Formation of a Competency Framework (Chapter 5) has been rewritten giving out a complete process of how to form a competency framework. This will be extremely useful for all professionals for learning the practical aspects of the formation of competency framework. The new chapter on Writing Competencies (Chapter 6) is about writing definition and behavioural indicators, the most challenging task of the formation of competency framework. Another new chapter is on Competency-based Interviewing (Chapter 8), which is one of the most important tools of assessment centre as well as the most desirable and coveted process of selection. This will be useful for all HR professionals not only in assessment centre but also for those who are on the interview panels for selection. Assessment Centres (Chapter 7) has been explained in further detail.

    Chapter 10 in this book, Generic Competencies, has been revised extensively. It now comprises a list of generic competencies across all functional and behavioural competencies. It includes more than 275 competencies which will be extremely useful for all professionals. Chapters 11, 12 and 13 cover Competency Model for HR, Generic Competency Model for Leadership Role in Any Organization, which has been modified, and Leadership Competency Model for Automobile Industry, respectively. Chapter 14, which is new, comprises Competency Framework for Academic Institutions. This has a new model for all academic institutions which will be extremely handy for all universities, academic institutions and centres for higher learning. Chapter 15 presents Experiential Sharing, which covers live examples of Hindustan Sanitaryware & Industries Limited (HSIL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Limited (GHCL)and Engineers India Ltd (EIL), along with the respective models and individual reports of competency mapping and potential mapping. This will be very helpful for all readers in the corporate, academic and consultancy sectors.

    Most of the chapters are illustrated with figures and tables, along with examples, for a better understanding. The glossary of job task analysis will be helpful in job analysis, which is one of the most important tasks in developing competency models.

    This book has in-depth coverage on what is competency mapping and assessment centre. It presents the complete know-how of the developing competency framework in detail for all practitioners and professionals. It also has an extensive list of generic competencies; competency models for HR, leadership and academic institutions and experiences of some consultancy assignments. The uniqueness of this book lies in ‘complete what, why, how’ on the subject and extensive support models that have been developed over years of research, consultancy and training experience across private, public and government sectors in India, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, UK and other European countries.


    Having worked on this book, I can say that no individual possesses all the competencies required to write a book on competencies. However, this work is an attempt to comprehensively address the issues in and around competency mapping. In the development of this text, direct and indirect contributions of several individuals stand out. The first two editions have been very well accepted; however, readers' quest for better aids and materials has been my driving force to work on this new edition.

    I am grateful to my clients who have given me the opportunity for national and international consulting assignments, and readers and corporate managers who acknowledged the work at various platforms.

    I owe special gratitude to my husband, Pradeep, and our children, Prateek and Sakshi, whose patience and support were instrumental in accomplishing this task.

    Finally, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the team at SAGE who were involved in publishing this book.

  • Glossary


    To receive with consent; to take without protest.


    The state of being subject to judgement for an action or a result which a person has been given authority and responsibility to perform.


    To exert one's power so as to bring about a result; to carry out a plan or purpose. See Execute, Implement and Perform.


    To affix or attach; to find the sum of figures.


    To direct the application, execution, use or general conduct of.


    To take and apply or put into action.


    To give recommendations. See Propose and Recommend. To offer an informed opinion based on specialized knowledge.


    To confirm or ratify.


    To arrange or form in a line.


    To change or modify.


    To study the factors of a situation or problem in order to determine the outcome or solution; to separate or distinguish the parts of a process or situation so as to discover their true relationships.


    To foresee events, trends, consequences or problems in order to deal with them in advance.


    To adjust or direct; to put in use.


    To evaluate as to quality, status or effectiveness of.


    To sanction officially; to accept as satisfactory; to ratify, thereby assuming responsibility for (used only in the situation where the individual has final authority).


    To place in proper or desired order; to prepare for an event. See Prepare.


    To find out or learn with certainty.


    To collect or gather together in a predetermined order or pattern. See Collect, Compile and Co-ordinate.


    To give specific duties to others to perform. See Delegate.


    To lend aid or support in some undertaking or effort. (No authority over the activity is implied.)


    To take upon oneself; to undertake; to take for granted.


    To confirm; to make certain of. See Ensure.


    To bind, fasten, tie or connect.


    To be present for the purpose of listening or contributing.


    To examine and review a situation, condition or practice, and conclude with a detailed report on the findings.


    The power to influence or command thought, opinion or behaviour.


    To empower; to permit; to establish by authority.


    To arrange or prove so that the sum of one group equals the sum of another.


    To group into a quantity for one operation.


    To ascertain by mathematical processes; to reckon by exercise of practical judgement.


    To strike or cross out.


    To convey through the use of the hands.


    To place or fix at or around the centre; to collect to a point.


    To draw or exhibit in a graph.


    To examine for a condition; to compare for verification. See Control, Examine, Inspect, Monitor and Verify.


    To distribute in accordance with a plan. See Disseminate.


    To separate into groups having systematic relations.


    To get the agreement or disagreement of others.


    To terminate or shutdown.


    To transpose words or figures into symbols or characters. Also Encode.


    To work or act jointly with others.


    To bring together in a predetermined order.


    To gather facts or data; to assemble; to accumulate. See Assemble and Compile.


    To collect into a volume; to compose out of materials from other documents.


    To make up, fashion or arrange.


    To agree with a position, statement, act or opinion.


    To lead, guide or command the efforts of others towards producing a chore or task or goal.


    To combine separate items into a single whole.


    To set in order mentally; to arrange.


    To seek advice of others; to confer.


    To exert power over in order to guide or restrain; to measure, interpret and evaluate for conformance with plans or expected results.


    To work jointly with others. See Collaborate.


    To bring into common action or condition so as to harmonize by regulating, changing, adjusting or combining. See Assemble.


    To transfer or reproduce information.


    To rectify; to make right.


    To establish a mutual or reciprocal relationship; to put in relation to each other.

    Cross foot

    To add across, horizontally.

    Cross off

    To line out, strike out.

    Cross out

    To eliminate by lining out.

    Date stamp

    To affix or note a date by stamping.


    To choose from among alternatives or possibilities so as to end debate or uncertainty.


    To entrust to the care or management of another; to authorize or empower another to act in one's place. See Assign, Authorize and Represent.


    Assigning to a subordinate the responsibility and commensurate authority to accomplish an objective or specific result.


    To erase; to remove.


    To conceive and plan in the mind for a specific use; to create, fashion, execute or construct according to a plan. See Develop, Devise, Formulate and Plan.


    To make a decision; to bring about; to cause; to decide and set limits to, thereby fixing definitely and unalterably. To find out something not before known as a result of an intent to find definite and precise truth.


    To conceive and create; to make active, available or usable; to set forth or make clear, evident or apparent.


    The result of developing.


    To come up with something new, especially by combining known ideas or principles. See Design, Develop, Formulate and Plan.


    To lead, guide or command the efforts of others towards producing a chosen result. See Conduct, Manage and Supervise.


    Guidance or supervision of others.


    To take apart.


    To find out something not known before as a result of chance, exploration or investigation. See Ascertain and Determine.


    To exchange views for the purpose of convincing or reaching a conclusion.


    To take apart.


    To spread information or ideas. See Circulate, Distribute, Issue and Release.


    To divide or separate into classes; to pass around; to allot; to deliver to named places or persons. See Circulate, Disseminate, Issue and Release.


    To separate into classes or parts, subject to mathematical division.


    To compose or write papers and documents in preliminary or final form, often for the approval or clearance of others.


    Assigned task.


    To revise and prepare for publication.


    To express approval of; to countersign.


    To make safe or certain. See Assure.


    To set up or bring into existence on a firm basis.


    To ascertain or determine the value of.


    To investigate; to scrutinize; to subject to inquiry by inspection or test.


    To put into effect; to follow through to the end.


    To employ actively, as in authority or influence.


    To accelerate the movement or progress of, to remove obstacles.


    To make easy or less difficult.


    To supply material to a machine.


    To compute.


    To lay away papers, etc., arranged in some methodical manner.

    Fill in

    To enter information on a form.


    To locate by search.


    To mark distinctively.


    To check the progress of; to see if results are satisfactory.


    To develop or devise a plan, policy or procedure and, to put it into a systemized statement.


    To give or supply. See Provide.


    An objective.


    Conducting or directing along a course of action.


    To put into effect; to execute.


    To instruct; to communicate knowledge.


    To originate; to introduce for the first time.


    To put or thrust in.


    To examine carefully for suitability or conformance with standards. See Check, Control, Examine, Monitor and Verify.


    To impart knowledge to; to give information or direction to; to show how to do.


    To furnish with directions; to inform. Specific—Precise and detailed directions that closely limit what can be done or how it can be done. General—Directions that are merely outlined, hence do not closely limit what can be done or how it can be done.


    Exhaustive or concentrated.


    To explain or clarify; to translate; to elucidate.


    To question in order to obtain facts or opinions.


    A list of items; stock in hand.


    To study closely and methodically.


    To distribute formally.


    To set or note down in detail; to set by particulars.


    To cover the inside surface of; to draw lines on.


    To itemize.


    To search for and find; to position.


    To keep up to date or current; to keep at a given level or in working condition.


    To control and direct; to guide; to command the efforts of others towards producing a chosen result. See Supervise.


    To find the quality or amount of; to ascertain dimension, count, intensity, etc.


    To combine.


    To unite or blend into one group or mass.


    To observe or check periodically for a specific purpose.


    To perform the operation of multiplication.


    To exchange views and proposals with an eye to reaching agreement by sifting possibilities, proposals, and pros and cons.


    Irregular or infrequent situations that arise relating to business or official duties. Characteristic of higher-level jobs.


    To observe, notice, heed.


    To give notice to; to inform.


    A desired result. See Goal.


    To perceive, notice, watch.


    To gain possession of; to acquire.


    To enter upon; to spread out; to make accessible.


    To conduct or perform activity.


    Individuals working together in related ways within a specific structure towards a common end.


    To arrange in interdependent parts; to systemize.


    To produce as new; to invent.


    To make a summary of the significant features of a subject.


    To take part in.


    To carry out; to accomplish; to execute.


    To locate an employee in a job.


    To devise or project a method or course of action.


    A definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions, to guide and determine present and future decisions.

    Position Description

    A document which describes the purpose, scope, duties, responsibilities, authorities and working relationships associated with a position or entity to be occupied and performed by one person.

    Position Specification

    A document which describes the physical characteristics, knowledge, skill, experience and educational requirements of a person who would be ideally suited to perform a specific job.


    To announce by public, written notice; to transfer or carry information from one record to another.


    To work repeatedly to gain skill.


    To make ready for a special purpose.


    A governing law of conduct; a fundamental belief serving as a responsible guide to action; a basis for policy.


    A particular way of accomplishing something or of acting; a series of steps followed in a regular, definite order; a standardized practice.


    To begin or carry out.


    To subject to some special treatment; to handle in accordance with prescribed procedures.


    A series of planned steps towards an objective.


    To act so as to increase sales or patronage; to advance someone to a higher level or job.


    To offer for consideration or adoption; to declare an intention.


    To supply for use; to make available; to furnish.


    To buy or procure.


    Something set up as an objective or end to be attained; a reason.


    To appraise or assess; to give one's opinion of the rank or quality of.


    To take something that is offered or sent.


    To advise or counsel a course of action or to suggest for adoption a course of action.


    To restore; to construct again.


    To register; to make a record of.


    To direct attention to.


    To enter in a record or list.


    To authorize the publication of, dissemination of.


    To transmit or send money as payment.


    To furnish, contribute.


    To supply or furnish organized information.


    To act for or in place of; to serve as a counterpart of; to substitute in some capacity for.


    To ask for something.


    To demand as necessary or essential.


    A document making a request.


    Inquiry into a specific subject from several sources.


    The quality or state of being accountable for.

    Responsible for

    Having caused; accountable for.


    To examine usually with intent to approve or dissent; to analyse results in order to give an opinion.


    To change in order to make new, to correct, to improve or bring up to date.


    To prearrange the sending of an item to the location to which it is to be sent.


    Regular procedure, or normal course of business or official duties.


    To examine point by point; to scrutinize.


    To plan a timetable; to set specific times for.


    To examine so as to separate into two or more groups or classes, usually rejecting one or more.


    To look over and through for the purpose of finding something.


    To get possession of; to obtain; to make safe.


    Chosen from a number of others of a similar kind.


    To set apart from others for special use; to keep apart.


    To hold an office; to act in a capacity; to discharge a duty or function.


    To authorize by affixing one's signature.


    To put in a definite place or rank according to kind, class, etc.


    To pile up.

    Standard of Performance

    A statement of the conditions that will exist when a job is acceptably done. Whenever possible the elements of the statement include specific reference to quantity, quality, cost and time.


    To excite, rouse or spur on.


    To consider attentively; to ponder or fix the mind closely upon a subject.


    To present information for another's judgement or decision.


    An interim total.


    To deduct one number from another.


    To give only the main points.


    To oversee a work group, leading, guiding or commanding its efforts to produce a chosen result.


    To provide service, assistance or supplies to another person or department.


    To ascertain facts regarding conditions or the condition of a situation usually in connection with the gathering of information.


    To form into a table by listing; to make a listing.


    To record the transfer of an application or document; to copy as a drawing.


    To increase skill or knowledge by capable instruction.


    To make a typed copy from shorthand notes or dictated record; to write a copy of.


    To transfer; to change the usual place or order.


    To emphasize or identify by drawing a line under the characters or subject.


    To prove to be true or accurate; to confirm or substantiate; to test or check the accuracy of.


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    About the Author

    Seema Sanghi is Managing Director at Styrax Consultants, a firm set up by her in the human resource solution space, which is focused on developing processes and people. It offers consultancy in competency mapping, assessment centre, psychometric testing and development, assessment tool development, training and development, mentoring and coaching and HR processes and interventions. She was formerly Director at FORE School of Management.She received the Mother Teresa Award in 2003 and the Excellence in Education Award in 2004. She has been a recipient of three gold medals and national scholarships for academic excellence. Books authored by her include (also available in Chinese), (co-authored with Stephen Robbins and Timothy Judge) and Her co-authored book was highly appreciated by His Excellency Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, then President of India. , authored by her, received ISTD Book Award from the Indian Society of Training and Development (ISTD), Ministry of HRD. She has over 100 psychometric tests, research papers and articles published in national and international journals and magazines.She has been an international consultant to UNDP for developing competency framework and assessment centre design for Public Service Commission. She has been associated with development of selection tests for central government and several state governments in India. She has assessed and trained several thousand professionals on competency mapping and assessment centre. She has trained numerous executives and offered consultancy across various sectors in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Saudi Arabia.Her interests are in the area of competency mapping, assessment centre, tool development, psychometric testing, mentoring, coaching, cross-culture issues, ethics and motivational complexities related to environmental issues. Her hobbies include oil painting and interior designing.

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