A competency assessment can help you determine if your employees have what it takes to succeed. This involves observing, interviewing, testing and judging that a person can perform work in accordance with an established competency standard. Qualified personnel minimize the risk and expense of product errors, operational mistakes and accidents, and defining the competencies associated with each job sets expectations for employee performance.


Conducting a competency assessment typically includes identifying behaviors critical to your business. By creating a formal document that identifies a code of conduct for each competency, you set expectations about performance. Known as a rubric, this document describes an employee's behavior at different levels, such as developing, proficient and exemplary. Building a spreadsheet that lists the competencies and behaviors makes it easy to keep track of how to determine a rating. This standardizes the process of conducting a competency assessment and makes implementation more consistent.


An assessor must gather enough evidence about a person's performance to make an assessment decision. Preparing to conduct a competency assessment usually involves assembling all the materials required, organizing equipment needed by the employee and scheduling enough time to complete the assessment. Establishing a checklist ensures you conduct assessments consistently.


Completing a thorough evaluation ensures that your employees possess the knowledge, skills and expertise to execute job tasks. For example, employees may need to demonstrate proficiency in effective communication, creative problem-solving, cultural awareness and office technology use. When conducting an assessment, explaining the purpose helps ensure that your employee understands the intent of the process. Additionally, to get a fair evaluation, an employee should have an opportunity to ask questions before he starts any assessment.


After completing an assessment, documenting the results helps an assessor remember them later. Comprehensive, notes, comments and observations lead to an accurate assessment decision. Generating a report with clear and constructive feedback prepares him to meet with the employee and discuss the results. If the employee failed the assessment, indicating what steps he needs to take to improve before retaking the assessment provides useful guidance. A competency assessment should be a chance for the employee to acknowledge strengths and weaknesses. Employees can use competency assessment feedback to make pivotal career decisions. Additionally, employees might complete self-assessment activities to help them focus career development actions. Employers can use the output of a competency assessment to identify people capable of taking on leadership roles in the company.