Competency Work–Top Down, Bottom Up, & Middle in Higher Education?

“Competencies and leadership development are the top two ways to have a business impact with training.”  — Tom Hood, CPA, blog post 2- 29-08



“My current thinking on competency models is to consider them more as an ‘intermediate stage’ in the evolution (of capability building efforts) rather than as the final stage.” — Prasad Kurian’s blog post, and Alltop HR blog on HR, OD and Personal Effectiveness

Competency programs and models seem to be picking up speed in higher education – which may be connected with the impact of social media and the career development aspects of competencies.  UM, as some of you know, launched a performance management site this year that features UM’s organizational competencies and several examples of technical/functional competency models.

Also of note, Google is approaching the 1/2 million mark for search results with the key words:

  • competencies
  • blog
  • universities

The fact that word “blog” even shows up with “university,” is intriguing, as social media is slow to come to higher education among the workforce, especially as a part of leadership and management communication strategies, as opposed to the digital natives — including university students, who write blogs freely about almost anything.

Here are three diverse examples and resources regarding competencies in both university and business settings.

  • Basic Competencies of a 2.0 Librarian (as in Web 2.0 – a personal blog entry on tech/functional competencies focused)  Nice examples of a self-developing competency list for a profession, with a focus in the blog post on technical skills, knowledge, abilities.

  • Student Health Professionals: Selected Competencies      References a framework and guidance for 28 functional areas in student affairs (Miller et al, 2003). Each functional area has a list of competencies which guide student affairs professionals in all aspects of student life.   Post is about student health professionals.

Feel free to comment below on what you think of the conversation on competencies, as well as the resources that exist and are emerging from various sources.


A general overview is available here via the training unit’s mapping of UM’s eight (8) organizational competencies. A search on the UM main site will produce 5,680 results using the key word competencies. The UM health system defines a competency as:

  • a knowledge, skill, or behavior essential for one to function as an effective member of the University of Michigan

and then lists the health system’s 12 competencies here.

University unique name holders:  The main UM performance management & competencies page is here. Download the UM Org. Competencies report here.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


3 Responses to “Competency Work–Top Down, Bottom Up, & Middle in Higher Education?”

  1. DeborahO says:

    Great stuff here Deborah!

    Re competencies, blog, universities…are these terms linked in the google searches? blog + university or not? With the increase in online learning I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those searches were looking for online educational opportunties.

    Of course online education is another whole topic. One of the HR leaders I’ve recently spoken with, very gingerly broached the topic of educational quality from some of the online universities. Her feeling was that the people she has who have gotten professional degrees (MBA, etc.) from these schools don’t have the same level of compentecy as others who have taken more traditional programs.

    I’ve wondered myself. Do you really get the same feel for, oh say, having to engage in the disciplinary process studying it online as you would role playing it in a f-t-f class where you have to look the other person in the eye and tell him/her they’re being fired?

    Just another wrench to throw into the pile.

  2. People decide to go back to university for just a number of distinct motives. Some people wish to finish a diploma. Other people want to explore different occupation choices. A number of purely wish to find out about a subject which includes usually engaged these. Regarding nurses, nonetheless, your search for continued schooling is not elective. In many states, continuing education for nurses be dictated as a way to preserve an active permit.

    Nevertheless getting together with your own continued knowledge requirement may be costly, with either an individual and for your manager. Almost all programs, perhaps property review an internet-based programs, are not free. Cost-free training regarding healthcare professionals might be hard to come by… nevertheless it will are present. Using these types of no-cost possibilities to satisfy the amount demands may help healthcare professionals preserve his or her expertise and knowledge up-to-date with no incurring abnormal costs. Continuing education for nurses

Leave a Reply