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Universal Competencies


Mission Comprehension
This competency requires a thorough background and understanding of the 1916 NPS Organic Act and its many ramifications and the additional responsibilities that have been added to the NPS throughout its history; and a perspective of how the National Park System began as a part of the Conservation Movement that continues today.

Agency Orientation
This competency requires a basic comprehension of the structure and organization of the NPS at the park, cluster, field area, and Washington Office levels; an understanding of the structure and organization of the Department of the Interior and its place in the Federal Government; and the development of an insight into an individual employee's role in the NPS in particular, and in the Federal Government in general.

Resource Stewardship
This competency requires an overall understanding of the spectrum of resources protected by the NPS; the range of NPS responsibilities in managing these resources; the individual's role in resource stewardship; the planning process and its purpose in the NPS; and working with partners outside the agency to promote resource stewardship.

NPS Operations
This competency encompasses a general comprehension of the basic operations of the NPS, especially at the park level; how these operations interact to fulfill the Mission of the NPS; and why visitors come to parks and how the NPS "manages" them.

Fundamental Values
This competency focuses on an employee's ability to exhibit certain attitudes and behaviors to accomplish an assigned job and to contribute to the overall health of the organization. These include: leadership and teamwork behaviors; ethical behavior towards people and the organization; support of cultural diversity and fairness issues in the workplace; support of accessible parks and workplaces; an attitude towards safe behavior for one's self and for others; and mental and physical fitness.

Communications Skills
This competency encompasses the ability to communicate effectively with the public and employees in writing and speech; to use interpersonal skills to be an effective employee; and to exhibit basic computer abilities.

Problem-solving Skills
This competency deals with the ability to analyze a problem, build consensus, make decisions, and practice innovation in various aspects of one's job.

Individual Development and Planning
This competency considers an individual's being able to work with one's supervisor and agency to plan a course of action for one's performance, career, and ultimately, retirement.