DOI Competency Library

Federal Workforce Competency Initiative (4/16/2021) - OPM has launched a Government-wide initiative to update job competency models. If you are contacted, please participate! The information provided from agencies across the Government will provide updated information on the competencies that are needed in different job series. Job competency data is used for a wide variety of human-capital activities including job design, classification, recruitment, selection, performance management, training, and career development. OPM is updating the models of more than 350 job series. DOI is supporting this initiative and will be able to leverage the findings from this Government-wide analysis.

A competency is a measurable pattern of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics that an individual needs to perform work successfully. Competencies are used to assess candidates for a job, measure and manage employee performance, workforce planning, and employee training and development. Below you will find Department-wide competency models for several occupations, interpretive guidance on how to use the models to inform personnel practices, OPM's Government-wide competency models, and a competency dictionary with definitions for over 300 general and technical competencies.

Department-Wide Competency Models

The Office of Human Capital develops competency models for mission-critical occupations across the Department. These models are the foundation for a variety of personnel management functions, including assessment and selection. Completed competency models include the following series:


​OPM Government-Wide Competency Models

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management develops competency models for use across the human capital lifecycle, including assessment and selection, for a variety of Federal occupational series and roles. These models (available for download below) include the following:
Occupational Series (Models in parentheses)
View the "Navigating OPM Competency Models" one-pager for more information on how to use these models.

Did you know?

OPM's Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) are available on their website. The five core qualifications (Leading Change, Leading People, Results Driven, Business Acumen, and Building Coalitions) consist of several competencies that define the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for success in leadership positions throughout the Federal Government. The ECQs are used by many agencies for selection, performance management, and leadership development for management and executive positions.

Additional Competency Resources:

  • The National Institute for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) maintains a cybersecurity workforce framework, which establishes an industry standard for categorization and common terminology to describe cybersecurity work. It is a great resource if you need a very comprehensive and detailed description of the technical knowledge, skills, abilities, and tasks associated with cybersecurity roles.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) maintains a robust competency dictionary, complete with behavioral examples.
  • IBC also has a competency dictionary as well as competencies identified for 3 dozen occupations.

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