Definition - Competency

TBR: From the KM Functions COP perspective competencies are the knowledge, skills and abilities (expressed as behaviors) need to perform a KM Function. See also
roles and responsibilities.

Wikipedia defines competence (or compentency) as "the ability of an individual to perform a properly. A competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the identification, evaluation and development of the behaviors in individual employees." ... "Some scholars see "competence" as a combination of knowledge, skills and behavior used to improve performance; or as the state or quality of being adequately or well qualified, having the ability to perform a specific role." (Wikipedia)

The KMEF On-Site Event, Needed Competencies, Knowledge Broad is reputed to have listed KSAs as something to consider for competencies: Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. These are used by the Federal Government in reviewing applicants resumes.

"The below definitions are defined by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management:
  • "Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA's) - The attributes required to perform a job and are generally demonstrated through qualifying service, education, or training.
  • "Knowledge - Is a body of information applied directly to the performance of a function.
  • "Skill - Is an observable competence to perform a learned psychomotor act.
  • "Ability - Is competence to perform an observable behavior or a behavior that results in an observable product." (Wikipedia)

The KM Competencies COP, defines competency along the lines of Dreyfus and Dreyfus on competency development as covered in Wikipedia. This approach discusses levels like novice, experineced beginner, practitioner, knowledgeable practitioner and expert. ...

Per Dictionary.Com

Origin: 1585–95; (< Middle French ) < Medieval Latin competentia suitability, competence ( Latin: proportion). See competent,

- competency. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved August 29, 2011, from website:

Word Orgin and History
- c.1600, "sufficiency to satisfy the wants of life," from L. competentia "meeting together, agreement, symmetry," from competens , prp. of competere (see compete). Meaning "sufficiency of qualification" is recorded from 1797.

- competency. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved August 29, 2011, from website:

  1. having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience, etc., for some purpose; properly qualified: He is perfectly competent to manage the bank branch.
  2. adequate but not exceptional.
  3. Law . (of a witness, a party to a contract, etc.) having legal competence.
  4. Geology . (of a bed or stratum) able to undergo folding without flowage or change in thickness.

1. fit, capable, proficient. See able.

World English Dictionary (EXTRACT):
1( of 4) having sufficient skill, knowledge, etc; capable

- competent. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved August 29, 2011, from website:

Medical Dictionary (EXTRACT):
- Properly or sufficiently qualified; capable.

- competent. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary. Retrieved August 29, 2011, from website: