Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2018 - 44

Linking Competency
Models to Modern
Learning Strategies

By Matt Donovan

With the rise of digital disruptions and "next
generation" talent management strategies,
nearly all HR and learning and development
(L&D) teams are being pushed to work
in concert together to create seamless
employee learning, performance and
development experiences. I truly believe
that this is a great thing - the real beneficiary
here is the employee/learner/performer
(whichever term you prefer). However, the
collaborative efforts between HR and L&D
have brought out some long-standing
differences between the two functions.

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One of the pain points across these
two similar yet different functions
has been around the incorporation of
competency frameworks in modern
learning experiences. While HR teams
have historically seen the value of strong
competency models, performance
improvement consultants and learning
professionals have struggled with
seeing how competency models
support the design and development
of relevant, modern and learner-centric
curricula. The result is a passionate
debate over how to link research-based

competency maps into the design
of authentic and valid performancecentric learning curricula.

Two Views on the Performer
Essentially, competency models and
learner/performer-centric outcomes are
two paths to define and benchmark the
same performer population. To better
understand the different paths, it is
important to grasp the fundamental
premise for each. Figure 1 (see page
46) compares features of a competency


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2018