Government of Saskatchewan
Quick Search:
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Public Service Commission

Government receives more than 62,000 job applications each year.

A competency can be defined as the personal attributes, skills and knowledge that are critical to being an effective, successful performer in a given job.

The competency model is comprised of personal attributes, skills and knowledge .

Personal Attributes identify qualities of character a person must have to be an effective and successful performer in the job. They are underlying characteristics, which are deep and enduring parts of an individual expressed most of the time. They are one's personal style or personal effectiveness, and include feelings, attitudes, habits and traits. Each of these is demonstrated by behavioural examples which allow one to objectively determine whether an individual possesses the required personal attributes. Attributes, together with knowledge and skills, help predict what a person will do in a given situation.

Skills are those demonstrated abilities or proficiencies which one has learned from their past. These are acquired/developed from past work and life experience, including volunteer work, independent study, life events, community and leisure activities, and formal training. Skills are demonstrable, measurable and are transferable from one situation to another.

Knowledge is the baseline of information acquired through work and life experiences, learning situations and formal education, which enables an individual to perform from an informed perspective.
The model shows the three competency areas interlinking. Knowledge and personal attributes support the skills. The person who is effectively performing a skill on the job is at the same time using the relevant knowledge and personal attributes required. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

How To Use Competencies Individual tasks can vary within the same job type; therefore, the staffing panel must review the position description and identify the critical knowledge, skills and personal attribute competencies required of the new employee in order to perform the duties of the specific job being staffed.

There may be a critical aspect of an individual job for which no competency has been developed. The flexibility of the competency approach allows for a competency to be "borrowed" from another job type, OR for a new competency to be developed, OR for an existing competency to be adapted in order to accurately reflect the competency required in the individual job being staffed.

The subject matter experts and stakeholder validation groups identified which competencies are most often critical for an employee to bring to a job and which ones are most often learned on the job. The Bring/Learn notations after each of the following competency statements are intended to guide the staffing panel in determining whether or not a competency will be used in the selection process or for learning and development. These notations are in no way absolute.

Recruitment and Selection (Staffing) - Bring - The "bring" competencies are those that have been identified as key to successful performance on the job. In other words, they are the knowledge, skills and personal attributes which candidates have learned, developed or acquired prior to commencement in the position. These are the competencies that are used to assess candidates in the recruitment and selection process.

For Learning and Development - Learn - The "learn" competencies are generally thought of as critical to successful performance of the duties of the job, but not at the onset of employment in the position. These would not be assessed during the recruitment and selection process; however, they can and must be learned, generally within the probationary period. Depending on the tasks identified in the position description, "learn" competencies may occasionally be used to staff a position.

Personal Attributes:
Attributes are directly connected to outcomes, or behaviours that are requirements of a given job, therefore one needs to describe WHY they are critical or necessary for that job.

For Example:

You will be attentive to detail in order to ensure that information is accurate when reviewing financial statements and reports.

This could be linked to a skill competency such as the ability to review, interpret, evaluate financial data and systems/operational data/controls in order to form conclusions and/or make recommendations on validity/ usefulness/correctness/compliance within established policies, procedures, guidelines, agreements and/or legislation.

You will be flexible and innovative when addressing issues and recommending solutions.

This could be linked to a skill competency such as the ability to identify, and develop new ideas and approaches that will improve work processes and systems.

© 2019 Government of Saskatchewan. All rights reserved.