Previous Page TOC


for Information Management

(competencies for computer users in all career fields)

Employees in all NPS career fields use computers to accomplish part of their duties. The level of use depends on the career field, but most employees need basic computer skills and skills in electronic mail and word processing. The need for additional skills will likely grow over time as more reporting and tracking processes become automated.

Note: Specific software applications mentioned are the NPS or DOI standards as of August 1995 and are subject to change.

(1)Basic Computer Skills


Operates a personal computer to accomplish a variety of tasks.


I. Basic Computer Skills

A.Computers, monitors, keyboards, mice (terminology and use)

B.Printers (terminology and use)

C.Data protection

1.diskette care
2.virus protection
3.backups (tape, floppy, ...)
4.surge suppression, battery backup

D.File management

1.naming and renaming files
2.copying, moving, deleting files
3.organization (directories, subdirectories)
4.file compression and expansion

E.Applications software (familiarity with types and purposes)

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge of basic hardware technology sufficient to operate computers independently and to understand written and verbal instructions.

Skill in using common computer equipment and accessories.

Knowledge of precautions to take to protect computer equipment and accessories from damage (during use and when not in use) and to protect data from loss.

Knowledge of basic operating system commands for naming and renaming files; copying, deleting, and moving files; formatting disks; creating and removing directories; viewing directory contents; navigating directories; and accessing the operating system help file.

Ability to use file compression software to compress and uncompress files. (Current NPS standard is PKZIP and PKUNZIP).

Knowledge of different software types sufficient for choosing which software to use for various tasks (electronic mail, word processing, spreadsheet, database, personal information manager, data communications program, graphic presentation program, graphic illustration program, desktop publishing/page layout program, etc.).



Uses Windows for launching programs and managing files.



A.File management

B.Launching programs

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Ability to start and exit Windows programs and DOS programs running under Windows.

Skill in using a mouse and/or trackball.

Skill in using the Windows File Manager to manage files and directories.

(3)Electronic mail


Uses electronic mail software to send and receive messages from others both inside and outside the NPS. (the current NPS standard is cc:Mail -- DOS version is being phased out and replaced by the Windows version)


III.Electronic mail

A. Creating and editing messages

B. Addressing messages

C. Sending and receiving messages

D. Reading, replying to, and forwarding messages

E. Attachments

F. Message folders, archives, deletion

G. Bulletin boards

H. Mailing lists

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Ability to create and address messages to NPS employees and offices and to Internet and other addresses.

Ability to send and receive messages; read messages and attachments; reply to and forward messages; edit messages.

Ability to attach other files to messages to be sent and detach files from messages received.

Knowledge of the techniques for managing messages, folders, and archives.

Ability to change the user configuration setup as needed for use in different locations.

Ability to use both network and mobile versions of the software (if needed).

(4) Word processing


Uses word-processing software to prepare a variety of documents (letters, reports, etc.).


IV. Word Processing

A. Document creation, editing, saving, and retrieval

B. Formatting

C. Error checking

D. Printing

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Ability to create, edit, save, and retrieve documents.

Ability to format text, paragraphs, and pages of documents.

Ability to use program features such as search and replace, spell-checker, and other error checking tools.

Ability to select the proper printer and to print part of all of a document.

Ability to save and retrieve documents in different file formats (ASCII, WordPerfect, ...).

National Park Service
Training and Development Division
Essential Competencies

Previous Page TOC