Why is Competency Assessment Important?

May 13, 2022

Staff development has always been a hot topic in the corporate world - and for good reason: highly-developed equals high-performing organisation. This is not a new concept! That said, we're seeing an increasing number of organisations invest more resources into this concept.

Businesses are keen to ensure their employees' skillset and knowledge align with the strategic plan of the organisation. A powerful way of identifying the level of employee skill and knowledge is to incorporate competency assessment throughout the employee lifecycle. 

Let's begin by looking at what  "competency assessment" means?

Before that, it would be useful to outline what we mean by a "competency". In a workplace setting, competencies represent broad combinations of knowledge, abilities and skills that work towards predicting job performance. Competencies are very unique to individual organisations: one company's key competencies may be irrelevant for another company.

Many organisations group their competencies into what are known as 'Competency frameworks'. This is a model that groups together the agreed core competencies of an organisation. Competency frameworks have been widely used to help focus employees on the desirable skills required in a role and drive them towards success.

Once competencies have been established by an organisation, and categorised within a framework, they can be effectively assessed against.

Competency assessments can be used to support with both recruitment and development - and can be done at both an individual and team level.




Diagnostic competency assessment

Many organisations decide to implement a diagnostic assessment in advance of staff training programmes. This allows the member of staff to complete an assessment which has been structured by competency, to effectively identify skill gaps. These types of assessments can be used to provide tailored learning interventions based on a specific set of skill gaps that have been identified in the assessment - rather than placing every learner on a highly-generic training programme.

Post-training assessment

Another way of effectively utilising competency assessment, is by ensuring learners sit this assessment upon completion of a training programme/course. Using an assessment upon completion of training, has been proven time and time again to far better increase learners' knowledge retention than if they had not sat an assessment at all.

Why choose Competency Assessment?

  • Identifying skills gaps

A lot of organisations are often unaware of the true quantity of the skill gaps within their employees, although they know they exist, therefore are unable to genuinely prioritise and target them when devising strategies. After all, if you don’t know what you are facing, how can you truly make an informed decision on how to conquer it?

  • More effective management

When leaders within the organisation better understand what their employees require to succeed, they can better manage the stronger qualities within their teams. Knowing the required skills for particular roles allows leaders to create the most efficient teams, matching employees by their strengths that best complement one another.

  • Continued staff development

Competency assessment gathers more insightful data, which allows skill gaps to be identified thus allowing for the correct action to be taken in terms or upskilling staff – thus improving the overall training strategy. It should be noted that in order to truly drive ongoing development within an organisation, it is vital to create a cycle of assessment, action, reassessment, and further action in order to get a current insight on capabilities. This cycle allows for a far higher volume and quality of development opportunities.

  • Allowing anticipation of market opportunities

When an organisation understands the skills and capabilities its employees possess, it can better respond to trends and demands within their sector. By implementing a strong competency framework, and the means to assess competency, organisations can better plan and take advantage of potential opportunities.

  • Assisting the recruitment process

The use of a competency assessment within the recruitment process provides insight into a candidate’s current capabilities and points of development, as well as providing clarity in the requirements of the job for both recruiter and candidate. Competency assessment provides a standardised selection process, as the same metrics are used to assess all candidates applying for the same position, as well as minimising hiring errors as it reduces the risk of job-irrelevant characteristics affecting the hiring decisions.

  • Increasing job satisfaction and reducing attrition

Competency assessment can help to motivate and engage employees as it provides an excellent opportunity to recognise their current skills and knowledge and further empower them to take ownership of their professional development. The more competencies they develop, the more valuable they will regard their abilities, likely leading to higher job satisfaction therefore reducing the attrition rate.

For further understanding of your rate of attrition, don't forget to download our FREE Employee Attrition Scorecard.

The Employee Attrition Scorecard

The growth of an organisation ultimately relies on individual progress. Whether it’s discovering skill gaps within the workforce, identifying potential opportunities, or improving the recruitment process, implementing competency assessment provides numerous benefits for an organisation towards continuous development and growth.


For further information on how Evolve Assess can help your Learning and Development Strategy, schedule a conversation.

Morgan Place - Marketing Assistant