Professional Excellence: Beyond Technical Competence

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The causative reasoning of such a language of levels of competency may be seen in their paper on Calculative Rationality titled, "From Socrates to Expert Systems: The Limits and Dangers of Calculative Rationality". The process of competency development is a lifelong series of doing and reflecting. As competencies apply to careers as well as jobs, lifelong competency development is linked with personal development as a management concept. And it requires a special environment, where the rules are necessary in order to introduce novices, but people at a more advanced level of competency will systematically break the rules if the situations requires it.

This environment is synonymously described using terms such as learning organization , knowledge creation, self-organizing and empowerment.

Mastering the Art of Technical Communication

Within a specific organization or professional community, professional competency is frequently valued. They are usually the same competencies that must be demonstrated in a job interview. But today there is another way of looking at it: that there are general areas of occupational competency required to retain a post, or earn a promotion.

For all organizations and communities there is a set of primary tasks that competent people have to contribute to all the time. For a university student, for example, the primary tasks could be:.

Rossiter, Alan P.

The Occupational Competency movement was initiated by David McClelland in the s with a view to moving away from traditional attempts to describe competency in terms of knowledge , skills and attitudes and to focus instead on the specific self-image, values, traits, and motive dispositions i.

Different competencies predict outstanding performance in different roles, and that there is a limited number of competencies that predict outstanding performance in any given job or role. Thus, a trait that is a "competency" for one job might not predict outstanding performance in a different role.

There is hence research on competencies needed in specific jobs or contexts.

Beyond Technical Competence: Choosing a Qualified PSM Auditor

Nevertheless, there have been developments in research relating to the nature, development, and assessment of high-level competencies in homes, schools, and workplaces. The most recent definition has been formalized by Javier Perez-Capdevila in , who has written that the competences are fusions obtained from the complete mixture of the fuzzy sets of aptitudes and attitudes possessed by employees, both in a general and singular way.

In these fusions, the degree of belonging to the resulting group expresses the extent to which these competencies are possessed. Competency models can help organizations align their initiatives to their overall business strategy. By aligning competencies to business strategies, organizations can better recruit and select employees for their organizations.


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Competencies have been become a precise way for employers to distinguish superior from average or below average performance. The reason for this is because competencies extend beyond measuring baseline characteristics and or skills used to define and assess job performance. In addition to recruitment and selection, a well sound Competency Model will help with performance management, succession planning and career development.

Selection: The use of behavioral interviewing and testing where appropriate, to screen job candidates based on whether they possess the key necessary job competency profile:. Performance management: Provides regular measurement of targeted behaviors and performance outcomes linked to job competency profile critical factors. Career paths: Development of stepping stones necessary for promotion and long term career-growth.

Succession planning: Careful, methodical preparation focused on retaining and growing the competency portfolios critical for the organization to survive and prosper. Identifying skill gaps: Knowing whether employees are capable of performing their role in achieving corporate strategy. How we treat the patient is part of the patient's treatment. Technical competencies: Depending on the position, both technical and performance capabilities should be weighed carefully as employment decisions are made. For example, organizations that tend to hire or promote solely on the basis of technical skills, i.

- Professional Excellence: Beyond Technical Competence by Alan P. Rossiter

Behavioral competencies: Individual performance competencies are more specific than organizational competencies and capabilities. As such, it is important that they be defined in a measurable behavioral context in order to validate applicability and the degree of expertise e.

Functional competencies: Functional competencies are job-specific competencies that drive proven high-performance, quality results for a given position. They are often technical or operational in nature e. Unlike leadership characteristics, management characteristics can be learned and developed with the proper training and resources.

Competencies in this category should demonstrate pertinent behaviors for management to be effective. Plans work and carries out tasks without detailed instructions; makes constructive suggestions; prepares for problems or opportunities in advance; undertakes additional responsibilities; responds to situations as they arise with minimal supervision; creates novel solutions to problems; evaluates new technology as potential solutions to existing problems. Makes sound decisions; bases decisions on fact rather than emotion; analyzes problems skillfully; uses logic to reach solutions.

Works harmoniously with others to get a job done; responds positively to instructions and procedures; able to work well with staff, co-workers, peers and managers; shares critical information with everyone involved in a project; works effectively on projects that cross functional lines; helps to set a tone of cooperation within the work group and across groups; coordinates own work with others; seeks opinions; values working relationships; when appropriate facilitates discussion before decision-making process is complete.

Maintains high standards despite pressing deadlines; does work right the first time; corrects own errors; regularly produces accurate, thorough, professional work. Personally responsible; completes work in a timely, consistent manner; works hours necessary to complete assigned work; is regularly present and punctual; arrives prepared for work; is committed to doing the best job possible; keeps commitments.

Demonstrates knowledge of techniques, skills, equipment, procedures and materials. Applies knowledge to identify issues and internal problems; works to develop additional technical knowledge and skills. Produces an appropriate quantity of work; does not get bogged down in unnecessary detail; able to manage multiple projects; able to determine project urgency in a meaningful and practical way; organizes and schedules people and tasks.

Writes and speaks effectively, using conventions proper to the situation; states own opinions clearly and concisely; demonstrates openness and honesty; listens well during meetings and feedback sessions; explains reasoning behind own opinions; asks others for their opinions and feedback; asks questions to ensure understanding; exercises a professional approach with others using all appropriate tools of communication; uses consideration and tact when offering opinions.

Anticipates problems; sees how a problem and its solution will affect other units; gathers information before making decisions; weighs alternatives against objectives and arrives at reasonable decisions; adapts well to changing priorities, deadlines and directions; works to eliminate all processes which do not add value; is willing to take action, even under pressure, criticism or tight deadlines; takes informed risks; recognizes and accurately evaluates the signs of a problem; analyzes current procedures for possible improvements; notifies supervisor of problems in a timely manner.

Is alert in a high-risk environment; follows detailed procedures and ensures accuracy in documentation and data; carefully monitors gauges, instruments or processes; concentrates on routine work details; organizes and maintains a system of records.

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Remains open-minded and changes opinions on the basis of new information; performs a wide variety of tasks and changes focus quickly as demands change; manages transitions from task to task effectively; adapts to varying customer needs. Able to manage multiple projects; able to determine project urgency in a practical way; uses goals to guide actions; creates detailed action plans; organizes and schedules people and tasks effectively. Establishes high standards and measures; is able to maintain high standards despite pressing deadlines; does work right the first time and inspects work for flaws; tests new methods thoroughly; considers excellence a fundamental priority.


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  • Responds to requests for service in a timely and thorough manner; does what is necessary to ensure customer satisfaction; prioritizes customer needs; follows up to evaluate customer satisfaction. Able to challenge conventional practices; adapts established methods for new uses; pursues ongoing system improvement; creates novel solutions to problems; evaluates new technology as potential solutions to existing problems.

    Able to become a role model for the team and lead from the front. Reliable and have the capacity to motivate subordinates. Solves problems and takes important decisions. Many Human Resource professionals are employing a competitive competency model to strengthen nearly every facet of talent management—from recruiting and performance management, to training and development, to succession planning and more. A job competency model is a comprehensive, behaviorally based job description that both potential and current employees and their managers can use to measure and manage performance and establish development plans.

    Often there is an accompanying visual representative competency profile as well see, job profile template. Creating a competency framework is critical for both employee and system success.

    An organization cannot produce and develop superior performers without first identifying what superior performance is. In the traditional method, organizations develop behavioral interview questions, interview the best and worst performers, review the interview data tracking and coding how frequently keywords and descriptions were repeated, selecting the SKAs that demonstrated best performance and named the competencies. One of the most common pitfalls that organizations stumble upon is that when creating a competency model they focus too much on job descriptions instead the behaviors of an employee.

    Experts say that the steps required to create a competency model include:. Once the competency model has been created, the final step involves communicating how the organization plans to use the competency model to support initiatives such as recruiting, performance management, career development, succession planning as well as other HR business processes. Because skills are changing so rapidly, by the time the traditional method is completed, the competency model may already be out of date.

    For this reason, an agile method, designed to model top performers in a particular role, may be used. It includes these steps:. Building a competency model requires careful study of the job, group, and organization of industry. The process often involves researching performance and success, interviewing high performing incumbents, conducting focus groups and surveys.

    When asked in a recent webcast hosted by the Society of Human Resource Management SHRM , 67 percent of webcast attendees indicated that hastily written job descriptions may be the root cause of incomplete competencies. Defining and compiling competencies is a long process that may sometimes require more effort and time than most organizations are willing to allocate.

    There are many ways that organizations can outsource these functions.

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    This standard is an important step in continuing the mission of this association for definition of the body of knowledge supporting project management profession and provision of standards for its application. PMCDF framework aims to help project managers and those interested in project management to manage their profession development.

    According to this standard, we need 46 elements to describe the competency of the project manager a professional specialist who plans and controls the project. The AIPM developed and documented their standard as the Australian national competency standards for project management. In this model, first, the characteristics of a competent manager based on studies conducted on various standards and models of the world, and after studies on competency in the scientific and traditional attitudes, are divided into several categories and, finally, after identification of the criteria and measurable criteria and sub-criteria, with the help of the network analysis process, each of the criteria and sub-criteria is weighed in two different companies, and finally ranked among the identified factors and based on the weighted average of each of the sub-criteria, for selection of a competent manager among several volunteer managers, modeling is performed.

    As one study 10 states, care is much more than a act, it is an attitude , which involves social responsibility and therefore, requires other types of knowledge. The reference to competencies corroborates this argument, emphasizing that despite the fact that technical competence is the substrate for the development of other competencies, professional competence depends on the simultaneous mobilization of a diversity of quality knowledge and cannot be considered one-dimensional competence In relation to the humanizing competence , the participants related it to acknowledging the human character of parturient women and oftentimes perceived as opposed to dehumanization, which characterizes the normal hospital delivery.

    In this view, they highlighted that competent Obstetric Nurses are those who manage to ally technical skills with humanization skills. We have to gather our theoretical knowledge, put it together with practice and join to all this the respect to this woman who is experiencing something unique, who is going to face an unfamiliar environment.