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Is there any difference between Competency & Skill
Human Resources » Knowledge Management

Chrm Message From: sunil madan Total Posts: 21 Join Date: 05/01/2008
Rank: Executive Post Date: 21/05/2008 00:16:18 Points: 105 Location: United States

Hello everyone,

I wanted to know is there any difference between competency and skill ? if yes what is the difference .Kindly illustrate by giving an example

i feel that competency encompasses skills and knowledge .Your views ?

Your early response on the same is awaited

Sunil Madan

Chrm Message From: priyanka Total Posts: 71 Join Date: 05/01/2008  
Rank: Manager Post Date: 21/05/2008 00:19:26 Points: 355 Location: United States

I agree with Sunil and I want to add something more :

- Competency is Skills, knowledge and behaviour important for Organiastional Success, Personal Performance and Enhanced Contribution
- Competencies form the bridge between what an organisation wants to achieve (its strategy) and the specific ways it will get there (implementation)

Definition of competency
- An underlying characteristic which differentiates superior performance from average.
- Not what a person is, but what he / she does.
- Defines what constitutes a ‘successful performance” in key jobs.
- Observe competent managers do differently in objective behavioral terms.

Thanks and regards,


Chrm Message From: jigyasa Total Posts: 40 Join Date: 05/01/2008  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 21/05/2008 00:24:38 Points: 200 Location: United States

Dear sunil,

Let me try answering ur query: first and foremost we define competency.

What is Competency?
Any underlying characteristic required for performing a given task, activity, or role successfully can be considered as competency. Competency may take the following forms: Knowledge, Attitude, Skill, Other characteristics of an individual including: Motives, Values, Self concept etc.

Mind you, the important words in this definitions are characteristics and successfully. as explained further, these charateristics can bein the form of knowledge, attitude, skills, motives, values and self concept as well.

Competencies may be grouped in to various areas. In classic article published a few decades ago in Harvard Business Review Daniel Katz grouped them under three areas which were later expanded in to the following four: Technical. Managerial, Human and Conceptual. This is a convenience classification and a given competency may fall into one or more areas and may include more than one from. It is this combination that are labelled and promoted by some firms as competency dictionaries. A competency dictionary of a firm gives detailed descriptions of the competency language used by that firm. It contains detailed explanations of the combinations of competencies (technical, managerial, human and conceptual knowledge, attitudes and skills) using their own language. For example Team work or Team Management competency can be defined in terms of organization specific and level specific behaviors for a given origination. At top levels it might mean in the case of one organization ability identify utilize and synergize the contributions of a project team and at another level it might mean ability to inspire and carry along the top management team including diversity management. In competency mapping all details of the behaviors (observable, specific, measurable etc.) to be shown by the person occupying that role are specified.

So, in a way competency encompasses skill. For eg. being a skilled goldsmith is a technical competency

I would like to acknowledge that the excerpt has been picked up from the following website : For the history, you can check up the website.

Hope this will help : )


Chrm Message From: sumitha.walia Total Posts: 17 Join Date: 05/01/2008  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 21/05/2008 23:53:22 Points: 85 Location: United States

Dear Sunil,

I think you have partly answered your question. Skill is sub-set of Competency. Competency = skill + ability to effectively apply it whenever necessary. Therefore, competency is an incident of experience, i.e. ability to apply skill very effectively. When you say effectively it includes quality of result, quantity of resources applied, how smoothly at was achieved (effortlessely), optimal use of resources applied, etc. It is, therefore, also important to note that unless you have skills (know-how) you can not have competency.



Chrm Message From: murali_k Total Posts: 31 Join Date: 05/01/2008  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 21/05/2008 23:55:04 Points: 155 Location: United States

A competency comprises of Skills, Attitudes and Knowledge. Thus, skills forms one component of a COMPETENCE (the other two being knowledge and attitudes)


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