Log in


ATD From Competency to Capability

Tuesday, March 03, 2020 9:18 AM | Jan Szmanda

By: Mike Stefonik

The ATD Competency model has long been the standard against which we, as talent development professionals, measure our skill and ability. It is also a measure that has helped to define what our role encompasses. There have been several iterations of the Competency Model with the most recent update in 2013. While it was a long-standing model for our industry, ATD began the process of updating it in October of 2018. In fact, as a member of ATD you may have participated in the survey and research that was completed by over 3,000 respondents.

After all the research was completed, the conclusion was made that there is enough changing in our environment of work that major changes were needed to the model. While Competency focuses on the current state, Capability is about meeting the future needs. 

The new Capability Model is broken down in to 3 domains of practice, defined by ATD:

  • Developing Professional capability: This domain of practice embodies the knowledge and skills talent development professionals should possess to be effective in their roles of creating the processes, systems, and frameworks that foster learning, maximize individual performance, and develop the capacity and potential of employees.

  • Impacting Organizational Capability: This domain of practice embodies the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by professionals to ensure talent development is a primary mechanism driving organizational performance, productivity, and operational results.

  • Building Personal Capability. This domain of practice embodies the foundational or enabling abilities all working professionals should possess to be effective in the business world. These largely interpersonal skills, often called soft skills, are needed to build effective organizational or team culture, trust, and engagement.

Each of the domains are made up of several capabilities that you may find familiar, like Instructional Design, Performance Improvement and Training Delivery. However, there are also several new capabilities like Learning Sciences and Future Readiness. In the domain of Building Personal Capability, skills like Communication, Cultural Awareness and Collaboration are now their own capabilities, where they used to fall under the broad topic of Global Mindset. 

One of the best parts of the new Capability model is the interactivity. ATD has created a hands-on interface that helps you explore each domain, learn about the capabilities and take a self-assessment. If you haven’t taken the time to check out the model, I recommend perusing https://tdcapability.org/#/. Take the self-assessment and see where you can build your Talent Development Capability.

Disclaimer: ATD-MAC is proud to have a blog that features local ATD-MAC members as authors and contributors. We’d like you to know that the views and opinions expressed in this article or by any author/contributor in publications outside of this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ATD or ATD-MAC.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software