Competency Modelling for Schools

A competency model defines the specific skills, knowledge and behavioural requirements that enable an employee to perform their role successfully. The development of a competency model for the job roles that exist in a business ensures that the incumbent of the position has the necessary KSAOs to succeed, as well as provide a detailed framework for staff development and training. Competency models underpin a range of organisational functions including recruitment and selection strategy, performance management, and staff development and training. Competency modelling goes beyond simply defining the tasks and responsibilities of the work role, and acknowledges the worker characteristics (KSAOs) and level of proficiency (competency) required to perform a task or learned activity, within the business context in which the work is performed.

Competency models provide the very basis of what the incumbent of the position needs to posses in order to be successful in the role, in the greater context of the roles relationships with others, and the broader context of the business. Hiring or placing an incumbent into a role that they are not suitable for has a range of negative impacts on both the individual, teams and the business a whole. A role should not be defined based on the KSAOs of the current incumbent, and instead the incumbent should placed into the role with the correct competencies required to succeed, or at least a clear understanding of the gaps between their current level of proficiency and that which is required to be successful. This is to ensure that the greater business goals and strategies are able to be achieved. If an incompatible or albeit incompetent incumbent is placed into a role (more importantly a leadership role) it can be detrimental to the achievement of business outcomes not just individual performance. This has large negative impacts on the businesses culture, team functioning and overall business effectiveness. Understanding what is required of a role in the work context in which it exists, paves the way to select and/or develop the correct person.
Why is This Important in Education?
Competency modelling is pertinent for a schools strategic planning and the achievement of its goals and objectives.

- Principal and executives have a vital role to play in the implementation of any school strategy. The people who are in these roles have the ability to drive achievement and success, but if the wrong people are selected, they have the ability to derail strategic objectives and negatively impact school culture. This flows down impacting staff and student outcomes;

- This also extends to heads of department and specialist positions. A competency model framework for all key roles in your school will provide a strong foundation for your selection strategy, performance management strategy and staff development and training as it sets clear expectations for what is required for each role in your schools context. The absence of this leads to insufficient job description documents, inadequate performance management tools and guidelines, and a lack of the required information to ensure that staff are receiving the professional development that they need to aid their success in their role;

- School Board/Council are no different. To drive strategic objectives (e.g., academic excellence) you need to have the right mix of people running your school at the Board/Council level. The development of a Board selection strategy with an appropriate competency modelling framework will ensure that you have a diverse and proficient Board to drive your schools strategy and goals.
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