National Park Service
Essential Competencies
For
National Park Service Employees

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INTRODUCTION
One year ago, the National Leadership Council of the National Park Service adopted an ambitious 10-year strategy and plan for the training and development of its employees. The Employee Training & Development Strategy (1995) defined 16 Career Fields in the National Park Service and called for an identification of the essential competencies required for the various jobs within each of the Career Fields.

Over 200 National Park Service employees contributed to the development of more than 225 job competency descriptions for this project. They also developed a set of Universal Essential Competencies that apply to all employees in the Service.

This is the first time that the National Park Service has attempted to define essential competencies for all its employees. This first endeavor will not be perfect, but it is comprehensive. Nearly all Service employees will find their niche(s) in this compliation. Future revisions will add refinements and improvements.

The purpose of this undertaking is (1) to provide definition to Park Service employees and their supervisors about the essential competencies required for them to perform their jobs at the entry, developmental, and full performance levels; (2) to give employees insights into the full spectrum of job requirements in the Service so they can better plan their careers; and (3) to enable the Service's Training & Development Community to base its programs on essential needs identified by employees and supervisors.

DEFINITIONS

VARIOUS COMPETENCY DEFINITIONS:
Competency: A combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities in a particular Career Field, which, when acquired, allows a person to perform a task or function at a specifically defined level of proficiency.

Essential Competency: A competency that forms part of the vital knowledge, skills, and abilities for an individual career field; an essential competency is critical for an employee to perform effectively at his or her level in a Career Field.

Universal Competency: An essential competency that is requisite for all National Park Service employees.

Shared Competency: An essential competency inherent to one Career Field(s) that crosses over into another Career Field.

Common Competency: An essential competency that describes the knowledge, skills, and abilities found within a family of related jobs.

PERFORMANCE LEVELS (relate to all competencies within a career field):

Entry Level: Is just starting in the Career Field; has appropriate academic preparations but little or no work experience.

Developmental Level: has some/limited hands-on experience in one or more disciplines within the Career Field; can handle some issues/situations/competencies, in one or more disciplines within the Career Field on his/her own.

Full Performance Level: Has considerable hands-on experience, generally in more than one discipline within the Career Field; can handle most issues/situations/competencies, generally in more than one discipline within the Career Field on his/her own.

KNOWLEDGE LEVELS (relate to individual competencies within a Career Field):

Basic Knowledge: Has a rudimentary/elementary understanding of the concepts/tasks entailed in the competency; can do the work with assistance/guidance/close supervision of more experienced colleagues/leaders.

Working Knowledge: Has a thorough understanding of the concepts/tasks entailed in the competency; can do the work on his/her own with minimal assistance/guidance/supervision.

Advanced Knowledge: Is very accomplished/a recognized information source in that competency; can teach/ guide/lead others in the competency.





Universal Competencies Homepage--includes following competencies:
Overview Statement on Supervision, Management & Leadership in the National Park Service


ADMINISTRATION & OFFICE MANAGEMENT SUPPORT
(Note: The Administration & Office Management Support Career Field has developed overview statements on the Administrative Career Field and on the Office Management Support Career Field. These statements should be reviewed by all employees in their respective areas of interest, as well as specific job titles.)

Career Field Overview Statement

Administrative Career Field
Office Management Support Career Field

Career Field Job Title

Accountant (510)
Accounting Technician (525)
Administrative Clerk/Technician (303)
Administrative Officer (Chief of Administration)(341)
Budget Analyst (560)
Budget Clerk/Assistant (501)
Clerk-Typist (322)
Contract Specialist (1102)
Employee Relations Specialist (230)
Fee Collection (530)
Financial Clerk/Assistant (503)
General Supply Specialist (2001)
Labor Relations Specialist (233)
Mail & File Clerk (305)
Management Clerk/Assistant (344)
Office Automation Clerk/Assistant (326)
Personnel Clerk/Assistant (203)
Personnel Management Specialist (201PMS)
Personnel Officer (201)
Personnel Staffing Specialist (212)
Position Classification Specialist (221)
Procurement Clerk/Assistant (1106)
Purchasing Agent (105)
Secretary (318)
Supply Clerk/Technician (2005)


FIRE & AVIATION MANAGEMENT

Career Field Overview Statement

Fire & Aviation Management

Career Field Job Title

Aviation Specialist
Fire Dispatcher
Fire & Fuels Specialist
Fire Manager
Prevention Specialist
Suppression Specialist


HISTORIC PRESERVATION SKILLS & CRAFTS

Career Field Job Title

Exhibits Specialist (Restoration) Preservation Specialist
Historical Craftsperson (Mason, Carpenter, Painter, Etc.)
Historical Maintenance Person
Preservation Gardener (5003)


INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
(Note: Information Management is subdivided into three programmatic areas: COMPUTER AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES; RESOURCES-RELATED COMPUTER SYSEMS (GIS); AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION STORAGE & RETRIEVAL.)

COMPUTER AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES:

Career Field Job Title

Applications Developer (334)
Computer Assistant (335)
Computer Specialist (334)
Computer Technologies Coordinator (Collateral Duty)
DATA Communications Specialist (334/391)
Local Area Network Manager (334)
Park Information Management Coordinator
Technical Support Specialist (334)
Telecommunications Specialist (Voice)(391)

RESOURCES-RELATED COMPUTER SYSTEMS (GIS):

Career Field Job Title

Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems Professional
Natural Resources Geographic Information Systems Professional
Planning Geographic Information Systems Professional

TECHNICAL INFORMATION STORAGE & RETRIEVAL:

Career Field Job Title

Library Manager (Collateral Duty)
Librarian (1410)
Librarian Technician (1411)
Technical Information Specialist (1412)

(Note: Besides having its own career field titles, Information Management has " Universal Essential Competencies" for all other Career Fields and "Shared Essential Competencies" for many other Career Fields. These universal competencies and shared competencies for Information Management apply to and should be reviewed by all employees in the National Park Service. Computer graphs of the Universal and Shared Essential Competencies have also been developed.)

Compentencies - Graphs
Shared Universal Competencies
Univeral Competencies

INTERPRETATION, EDUCATION, & COOPERATING ASSOCIATIONS

Career Field Job Title

Park Ranger Interpreter
Advanced Ranger Interpreter

LAW ENFORCEMENT & RESOURCE PROTECTION

Career Field Job Title

Law Enforcement Ranger (0025)
Criminal Investigator (1811)
U.S. Park Police--includes following job titles:

Officer, Recruit
Officer, Patrol
Officer, Specialized
Officer, Master Patrol
Sergeant
Lieutenant
Major
Deputy Chief
Assistant Chief
Chief


MAINTENANCE

(Note: Nearly 80 job titles exist for the Maintenance Career Field. Competencies have been developed so far for about 30 of these job titles which represent over 90% of the nearly 6500 employees of the permanent Maintenance workforce.)


COMMON MAINTENANCE COMPETENCIES For All Maintenance Occupations

Career Field Job Title

Animal Caretaker
Carpenter
Custodian
Electrician
Engineering Equipment Operator
Facility Manager
Facilities Management Specialist
Gardener/Grounds
Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic
Historic Preservation Gardener
Exhibit Specialist
Historic Landscape Preservation Specialist
HVAC Equipment Mechanic
Laborer
Mason
Maintenance Worker, Buildings
Maintenance Worker, Roads
Maintenance Worker, Trails
Motor Vehicle Operator
Painter
Small Craft Operator
Tractor Operator
Utility Systems Repair/Operator
Welder
Warehouse Worker
Wood Crafter
Water Treatment Plant Operator
Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator

ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Career Field Job Title

Career Development Specialist
EO Specialist
Organization Development Specialist
Program Manager
Support Specialist
Training and Development Specialist


PLANNING, DESIGN, & CONSTRUCTION

(Note: The Planning, Design, & Construction Career Field is subdivided into four programmatic areas: CONSTRUCTION (C); DESIGN (D); PLANNING (P); and RELATED CAREERS (R).)


CONSTRUCTION (C):

Career Field Job Title

Architect (General) - Construction
Construction Representative - Construction
Civil Engineer - Construction
Engineer (Construction) - Construction
Electrical Engineer - Construction
Engineer (Environmental) - Construction
Engineer (General) - Construction
Engineer (Highway) - Construction
Engineer (Structural) - Construction
Exhibit Specialist - Construction
Historic Architect (General) - Construction
Landscape Architect - Construction


DESIGN (D):

Career Field Job Title

Architect (General) - DESIGN
Architectural Technician (Drafting) - Design
Engineer (Civil) - Design
Engineer (Electrical) - Design
Engineer (Environmental) - Design
Engineer (General) - Design
Engineer (Highway) - Design
Engineer (Mechanical) - Design
Engineer (Structural) - Design
Engineering Technician (Drafting) - Design
Landscape Architect - Design
Landscape Architecture Technician (Drafting) - Design

PLANNING (P):

Career Field Job Title

Architect - Planning
Community Planner - Planning
Cultural Resource Specialist - Planning
Economist - Planning
Engineer - Planning
Geographer - Planning
Geologist - Planning
Interpretive Planner - Planning
Landscape Architect - Planning
Natural Resource Specialist - Planning
Outdoor Recreation Planner - Planning
Political Scientist - Planning
Social Scientist - Planning
Transportation Planner - Planning

RELATED CAREERS (R):

Career Field Job Title

Bindery Machine Operator
Offset Micro-Photographer
Offset Photographer
Offset Press Operator
Printing Manager
Specification Writer/Editor
Visual Information Specialist
Writer/Editor

RECREATION & CONSERVATION PROGRAMS

Career Field Job Title

Recreation and Conservation Planner - Grants
Technical Assistance, Conservation & Recreation Planner

RESOURCES STEWARDSHIP: CULTURAL RESOURCES

Career Field Job Title

Architectural Conservator
Archeology
Cultural Resource Program Manager
Ethnography
Facility Manager/Chief of Maintenance
Historian
Historical Architect
Historical Landscape Architect
Museum Management
Museum Management - Archivist Track
Museum Management - Conservator Track
Museum Management - Curator Track
Preservation Horticulturalist
Superintendent/Manager

RESOURCES STEWARDSHIP: NATURAL RESOURCES

Career Field Job Title

Discipline Specialist
Program Manager

RISK MANAGEMENT (OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY)

Career Field Job Title

Collateral-Duty Safety Officer
Safety Engineer
Industrial Hygienist
Safety and Occupational Health Specialist
Workers' Compensation Program Manager
Safety Technician

SPECIALTY FIELDS

Career Field Job Title

CONCESSION MANAGEMENT
which includes:
Collateral Duty Personnel
Concession Assistant (1100)
Concession Analyst (1101)
Concession Chief
Concession Circuit Rider
Concession Program Leader
Concession Specialist (1100)

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Career Field Job Title

International Affairs Specialist

LAND ACQUISITION

Career Field Job Title

Appraiser
Cartographic Technician
Realty Clerk; Realty Assistant; Realty Technician; Legal Instruments (Conveyance)Examiner
Realty Specialist
Land Surveyor

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

Career Field Job Title

Congressional Liaison
Field Legislative Representative
Legislative Affairs Specialist
Legislative Trainee

PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Career Field Job Title

Public Affairs Specialists

WRITER/EDITOR

Career Field Job Title

Writer/Editor

SUPERVISION, MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP
(Note: The first file listed below [1-LDRSHP.SML] is a general philosophical statement about Supervision, Management, & Leadership in today's National Park Service. It should be reviewed by all NPS employees. Files with LDR at the beginning apply to all NPS employees; files with SUP at the beginning apply to all supervisors and managers. This Career Field aligns with all others and does not list job titles, since it applies to all NPS Employees, Supervisors, and Managers.)

Supervision, Management & Leadership in the National Park Service

Career Field Job Title

Community Building
Visitor (Client) Service
Ethics
Influencing/Negotiating
Management Controls and Acquisition
Political Awareness
Decision Making and Risk Management
Team Membership
Maintaining and Managing A Diverse Work Force
Financial Management
Human Resource Management
Tactical Planning
Public Policy
Project/Program Management
Supervision

VISITOR USE MANAGEMENT

Career Field Job Title

Accessibility Specialist/Coordinator
Campground Management
Emergency Medical Services
Fee Collection
Special Park Use Management/Permitting
Public Health (includes Addendum)
General Recreation Use Management
Search And Rescue
Visitor Studies
Wilderness And Backcountry Management Specialist
Architect/Landscape Architect, Engineer
Concession Manager/Specialist
Cultural Resource Manager, Historic Architect, Historic Preservation Specialist
EO Specialist
Interpretive Planner/First Line Supervisor/Chief of Interpretation
First Line Supervisor Maintenance, Facility Manager
Natural Resource Manager, Wilderness Resource Manager
Personnel Specialist
Outdoor Recreation Planner
Fee Collection - Administration
Fee Collection (Superintendent)
Intercultural Diversity Interpretation
Intercultural Diversity Law Enforcement
Intercultural Diversity Chief of Maintenance
Intercultural Diversity Natural Resource Management
Intercultural Diversity Supervisors and Managers

See File Employee Development Home

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