ASTD’s New Competency Model – part 2

ASTD’s New Competency Model – part 2

ASTD's New Competency Model - part 2

The Wake-Up Call

ASTD's New Competency Model - part 2. The last major ASTD Competency Model was published in 2004. Since that time, there have been unprecedented global changes. Looking at technology alone, Facebook was just a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye in 2004. The iPhone came out in 2007. And Twitter didn’t even exist.

The T&D field has transformed substantially in the past decade. Four familiar factors have played a major role in driving the changes:

  • economic uncertainty and volatility
  • advances in digital, mobile, and social technology
  • demographic shifts in the workforce
  • increased globalization

T&D trends—such as integrated talent management, employee engagement, crowd sourcing, and collaborative and mobile learning—have disrupted conventional notions of the T&D function and changed the competencies required for success. It comes as no surprise that T&D practitioners must also continue to adapt and develop if they want to remain relevant in this rapidly changing business environment.

Implications for T&D Competencies

Individuals in T&D should be prepared to address head-on some of the more recent shifts in the profession. In broad terms, this includes:

  •  staying abreast of new and emerging technologies and matching the appropriate technology to a specific learning opportunity or challenge
  • moving beyond the role of deliverer of training to a facilitator of learning, content curator, information manager, and builder of learning communities
  • fostering a culture of connectivity and collaboration around learning via mobile and social technology
  • designing and presenting learning not as a discrete event—a training course—but as a process that engages learners in a variety of ways over time through formal and informal channels
  •   leveraging the learning styles and preferences of new generations entering the workforce and capturing the knowledge of those leaving it

The New ASTD Competency Model

  • playing a role in integrated talent management so that learning informs all the processes and systems that create organizational capability and understanding the role and contributions of the learning function
  • anticipating and meeting the T&D needs of an increasingly global workforce and contributing to talent development where the organization most needs it
  • demonstrating the value and impact of learning by using metrics that are meaningful to business and using data analysis to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of T&D
  • continuing to be business partners and leaders who align their activities to the organization’s business strategies and goals and who demonstrate their return-on-investment, especially during challenging times.

The New Model Deconstructed

Let’s explore the new ASTD Competency Model in greater depth. The new ASTD Competency Model identified six foundational competencies and 10 specific areas of expertise (AOEs).

The foundational competencies are clusters of business and personal skills, which are the bedrock upon which to build more specific competencies

The AOEs are the specialized knowledge, skills, and behaviors that are required by specific roles in the T&D field

It is important to note that the foundational competencies are relatively generic and are needed across many professions, whereas the AOEs are unique and specific to the T&D profession.

This information is based on the ICF (International Coach Federation) Code of Ethics and the ICF Core Coaching Competencies. Additional information can be found at ICF’s website:

The new ASTD Competency Model includes important changes to the AOEs compared to the 2004 model. These changes reflect the growing influence of mobile and social technology, learning analytics, and integrated talent management.

It is important to note that the model is both broad and deep. The extent to which each individual needs to master the various competencies depends on a person’s current role and future aspirations.

For example, functional specialists may wish to focus their development energy on mastering one or two of the AOEs. Business managers or leaders may wish to spend more time mastering a broad array of foundational competencies and ensuring that they have exposure across all of the AOEs.

All training professionals need to know a bit of everything in the model, but the extent to which they need to focus and dive deep will vary by individual and the relevance of the competencies to the business in which they find themselves.

See You in the part 3


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