1. Competency library
Using a competency based assessment tool people will be assessed against competencies. Your company may already have a set of competencies that it wants to assess staff against or it may be developing some. A good tool will support your existing competencies and will also provide a library of competencies to assist if you don’t already know which competencies you want to assess against.
Ideally the tool will support competencies to be defined at different levels. For example, from novice through to expert. An advanced tool will also support the creation of role based competency templates.
2. Online assessment mechanism
To make the assessment process easier a good tool will provide an online interface that guides a person through the assessment. It should provide all the relevant information a person needs to be able to self-rate or assess another person.
3. Support for multi-rater assessment and 360 feedback
Assessments can be done in a variety of ways. One is a simple self-assessment where a person rates themselves against a set of criteria.
Some companies will involve managers in a person’s assessment or a person who is expert in the field in question. To support these processes a tool should enable these people to easily assess designated people using a friendly online interface.
To increase accuracy and provide more useful feedback a good tool should support additional people contributing to a person’s assessment. This process is called multi-rater assessment or 360 degree feedback.
On it’s own a competency based assessment does little. To be effective, people need to understand their level of competence and undertake learning to achieve a desired level of skill. A competency based assessment tool needs to provide reporting to help a person understand their current level of competence so that they can formulate an action plan to achieve their desired level..
5. Link learning suggestions for competencies
A tool should be capable of providing learning suggestions to help a person formulate their development plan. The learning suggestions should be specific to individual competencies.
6. Group analysis
Group analysis is needed for two reasons:
To determine common strengths in a group and common gaps. This information may be critical for effective operational performance, workforce and succession planning.
To identify common learning needs. If individuals formulate their own development plans in isolation companies are missing a chance to group together people with common development needs and also save money on any training.
7. Historical trends
Over time a quality competency assessment process should show an improvement in competency levels and a reduction in gaps. In order to determine whether a competency assessment process is working optimally, a tool needs to support an analysis of assessment data over time.