Universal Competencies Home

What is Competency-based Training?


Why have Universal Competencies?

What are the Univeral Competencies?

In 1994, the National Leadership Council approved the NPS Employee Training & Development Strategy. This Strategy set a new direction for NPS training. In future, training opportunities will be designed around "competencies" which are established for each career field and for each job title. 

Competency-based performance is a current concept in business and government. One comprehensive definition of "competency" is:
"A cluster of related knowledge, skills, and attitudes that affects a major part of one’s job (a role or responsibility), that correlates with performance on the job, that can be measured against well-accepted standards, and that can be improved via training and development." (Training magazine: July, 1996)

An "essential" competency is critical for an employee to perform effectively at his or her level in an NPS Career Field. A "universal" competency is one that is required of all NPS employees regardless of Career Field. An example of a universal competency would be "comprehension of the NPS’ Mission." 

Competencies are gained through a multitude of ways—life experience; formal education; apprenticeship; on-the-job experience; self-help programs; and, yes, training and development programs. All of these together contribute to job competence in an employee. Ultimately, supervisors and employees working together and assessing consistency of job performance (behaviors) over time determine overall "employee competence." 

When choosing training and development activities to help you achieve competencies identified for your job, target competencies – not courses.