What is a Competency?

Competency-based performance is a current educational tool and concept used in business and government. The National Park Service's (NPS) Training and Development Program defines a competency as "a measurable pattern of knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors and other characteristics that an individual needs to perform work roles or occupational functions successfully". The natural resource career field has identified an array of competencies targeted to experience level and discipline. To better understand the framework of natural resource competencies visit the competency matrix page. For more in depth information on the two natural resource disciplines visit the Discipline Specialist and Program Manager pages.

Types of competencies include:

General: a competency that is common to many jobs (such as reading or writing).

Technical: a competency that is necessary for a specific occupation or cluster of occupations (such as archeology or criminal investigation).

Universal: a general competency that is required for all NPS employees.

Shared: an essential competency inherent to one career field that crosses over into one or more additional career fields.


View or print the seven essential competencies identified for the natural resource career field.