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COMPETENCY MANAGEMENT

COMPETENCY
INVENTORY

Human Resources: our most valuable asset

FOREWORD BY THE SECRETARY GENERAL

Human Resources: our most valuable asset

It is through the expertise and commitment of the women and men who work
here that the Council of Europes reputation and credibility have been established in the six decades since its creation.
The competencies of our staff thus lie at the heart of our human resources
policy. The Competency Inventory identifies and describes, for the first time,
the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and behaviour which we need to successfully fulfil our mission. Staff members throughout the Council of
Europe should possess these attributes.

The Competency Inventory is a starting point for all aspects of our human
resource management, from recruitment to staff development, career management and performance management. It provides a common framework
and language for individual staff members, their managers and the
Organisation as a whole.
I trust that it will become a tool and reference point for everyone working in
our Organisation.
Terry DAVIS

COMPETENCY MANAGEMENT
Competency Inventory

Competencies-based Human Resources Management


The objective of human resources management is to ensure the right person in the right
place by:
looking for the most appropriate fit between person and job;
paying attention to a smooth and pleasant integration of new team members;
creating opportunities to develop talents and keep competencies up-to-date;
stimulating output-driven performance by motivated and involved staff;
guaranteeing employability and employee satisfaction;
being aware of and sensitive to respect for diversity and equal opportunities.
To this end, it is important to create and implement an integrated Human Resources
Management based on competencies.

The term competencies refers to professional conduct, in other words to ways of working.
Thus competencies are a combination of knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and behaviour
that lead to successful performance in a job and which can be acquired by doing, learning,
training, and coaching.
The concept of competencies is important in human resources management because it
provides a road map for managers and employees to enable them to understand job requirements and expected performance standards. In this respect, it provides a common framework and language for a dialogue between manager and employee about performance, development and career-related issues.
Using competencies is a basic tool for the development of integrated human resource practices. Competencies provide criteria that can be applied to each of the human resource practices such as:
Recruitment: competencies are described in generic reference job & competency
profiles and vacancy announcements and are used to conduct recruitment interviews.
Staff Development: training and development programmes are aligned
with the competencies and development needs.

Career Management: competencies are used to identify individual and organisational


needs and planning for career management.
Performance Management: competencies are useful for employees
and managers to underpin the appraisal procedure.
The competencies for the Council of Europe staff have been developed in a pilot project
and through a process of analysing the Organisations activities. Data have been gathered and
analysed based on existing job descriptions. Validation surveys have been organised for management and staff and feedback requested from the Equal Opportunities Board, the Appraisal
Board and the Staff Committee.
The Competency Inventory below includes the key competencies with definitions and a
few examples that demonstrate these competencies.
The Competency Inventory includes all competencies which are considered important for
Council of Europe staff. Among these competencies, the key competencies can be indicated
for each job (see Reference Job & Competency Profiles).

1
VISION
ON INTERNATIONAL
AFFAIRS

1. VISION AND STRATEGIC INSIGHT

The ability to identify strategic issues, opportunities and risks.


Competency Indicators:
Takes time to think ahead and to identify trends, developments, patterns in current events
or situations in the long term.
Identifies complex relations between situations or events.
Translates situations into opportunities and risks for own department, field of work or programme.
Develops a vision and translates this into concrete strategies and policies.
Communicates and conveys enthusiasm about strategies and policies.

VISION ON
INTERNATIONAL
AFFAIRS

2. AWARENESS OF THE INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL, ECONOMIC,


SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT

The ability to have an international political, economic, social and cultural awareness and to pursue it in the interest of the Council of Europe, own department, field of work or programme.
Competency Indicators:
Shows an open mind, a broad general culture and great interest in current affairs.
Keeps abreast of current affairs and stays well-informed on new developments
in the external environment.
Forecasts and pinpoints upcoming issues and trends.
Identifies emerging issues or events and understands how these may impact the Council of Europe,
own work field or job.
Brings issues to the attention of others in order to influence the direction or actions in response
to current developments.

3. ORGANISATIONAL AWARENESS

The ability to have a good grasp of the structure and functioning of the Council of Europe, its
political environment, activities, values and its role in the international political context.
Competency Indicators:
Demonstrates an understanding of the mission and key activities of the Council of Europe, own
and other directorates and departments.
Interprets and implements policies, regulations, procedures etc. with regard to specific
programmes of work.
Takes into consideration transversal or lateral connections and interdependencies of directorates and
departments in own activities.
Recognises the impact of own decisions or action on other directorates or work units.
Finds the right information and the necessary support.

2
MANAGERIAL SKILLS

1. LEADERSHIP

The ability to lead, guide and render autonomous individuals or teams by developing and promoting
a shared vision of organisational goals and objectives.
Competency Indicators:
Creates synergy between people in the pursuit of organisational goals and objectives.
Creates ownership by delegating appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making
authority to the relevant person.
Drives for change and continuous improvement.
Displays resilience, creativitity and imagination in coping with setbacks.
Leads by example, is a good role model for others.
Practices different leadership styles at different times in varying situations, switches between
participative, supportive, directive and achievement-oriented leadership where appropriate.

MANAGERIAL
SKILLS

2. MANAGEMENT OF TEAM(S)

The ability to lead, guide, involve and motivate team(s) to achieve set objectives both at team
and individual levels and this in a multicultural context.
Competency Indicators:
Ensures that roles, responsibilities and performance expectations are clear to each team member.
Provides guidance, involvement and motivation to team members in reaching their objectives.
Discusses and establishes clear objectives with subordinates.
Assesses, evaluates, and gives constructive feedback on performance and delivered results.
Fosters co-operation, internal communication, transfer of knowledge, team spirit and respect for
diversity and equal opportunities.
Drives collective emotions in a positive direction, anticipates and resolves conflicts.
Shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort.
Challenges team members to demonstrate new competencies by delegating appropriate work
assignments.
Pinpoints required short-term and long-term competencies for team members.
Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments.
Identifies training needs and career development opportunities for team members.

3. MANAGEMENT OF PROJECTS, PROCESSES AND RESOURCES

The ability to plan, organise, delegate, co-ordinate, implement, monitor and evaluate projects,
processes, programmes and resources in order to obtain required results on time (goal setting,
objectives, action plans, budget).
Competency Indicators:
Ensures effective and efficient organisational structures, processes, procedures and appropriate
resources and within the defined parameters (budget, staff, information, working tools etc).
Sets up action plans or programmes, develops clear goals and objectives and establishes clearly
defined outcomes in co-operation and consultation with the team.
Manages processes or projects within the allocated financial and human resources.
Manages progress and evaluates results.
Intervenes in cases of operational, financial or human resources issues and problems.

4. COACHING OF OTHERS

The ability to coach and mentor others in reaching their full potential both at team and individual levels.
Competency Indicators:
Coaches others to fill the gaps in their performance.
Encourages, nurtures and gives appropriate feedback.
Calls others to account on their responsibility, behaviour or performance.
Fosters accountability, autonomy and self confidence.
Facilitates team spirit and mutual trust in such a way that learning can occur and potential
competencies and skills can be developed.
Demonstrates empathy for peoples difficulties and responds with adequate support.

5. INFLUENCE AND AUTHORITY

The ability to gain organisational credibility and to win trust in order to be able to influence
and lead.
Competency Indicators:
Gives compelling reasons for new ideas or approaches.
Brings others round to own point of view by dialogue, participation, involvement and
critical mind setting.
Understands underlying motivations and views in order to identify hidden agendas.
Persuades others to consider alternative views and solutions.
Leads others towards particular outcomes or courses of action, in a straightforward and honest way.
Influences decisions, actions or perceptions of others to obtain acceptance or commitment.
Ensures influence is in line with values, ethics and norms of the Council of Europe.

6. ENTERPRISE

The ability to engage and undertake in daring missions or projects that are especially difficult,
complicated or risky.
Competency Indicators:
Estimates the complexity and risks of changing circumstances.
Takes initiatives in order to manage critical situations.
Takes calculated risks.

3
PROFESSIONAL
AND TECHNICAL
COMPETENCIES
PROFESSIONAL
AND TECHNICAL
COMPETENCIES

1. PROFESSIONAL/TECHNICAL EXPERTISE

The ability to make effective and appropriate use of professional/technical knowledge and
skills in a particular field or discipline (Finance, HR, ICT, Law, Logistics, PR etc) and to use
related methods, procedures, techniques, tools or infrastructure.
Competency Indicators:
Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of a particular field or discipline.
Applies practices, ideas or concepts associated with the related field of work.
Uses, in an appropriate manner, procedures, techniques, tools, or infrastructure associated with
the field of work.
Develops, adapts or adjusts methods, procedures, techniques, tools or infrastructure to obtain
required results.

2. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) SKILLS

The ability to use computer and ICT facilities (ICT tools, office and specific or particular
software for finance, logistics, security).
Competency Indicators:
Applies appropriate ICT tools, equipment or technology to process assignments.
Keeps abreast of available ICT facilities.
Masters new ICT tools as necessary.
Respects internal rules on the use the Information System (Instruction No 47).

3. PLANNING AND WORK ORGANISATION

The ability to orchestrate and implement clear, efficient and logical approaches to work, to
manage assignments, objectives and time.
Competency Indicators:
Organises and plans day-to-day activities to handle multiple assignments and meet the required
quality standards, priorities, deadlines, and end results.
Plans and co-ordinates work to maximise efficiency and productivity.
Informs others of progress or setbacks in assignments or projects.
Adjusts planning and work organisation when setbacks or problems occur.

4. INFORMATION SEEKING

The ability to obtain and use all relevant information from a variety of sources.
Competency Indicators:
Researches, acquires or collects information and/or data relevant to an issue or question.
Identifies relevant and appropriate information and data sources relevant to an issue or question.
Evaluates information and data relevant to an issue.

5. ANALYTICAL SKILLS

The ability to grasp and analyse complex and wide-ranging questions, issues or information.
Competency Indicators:
Defines and understands the content of questions, issues or problems to survey, investigate or assess.
Determines appropriate uses and limitations of both quantitative and qualitative information or data.
Interprets information relevant to an issue.
Makes relevant inferences from quantitative and qualitative data.
Puts things in a broader context and takes a long-term view with lateral insight.

6. PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS

The ability to tackle issues and problems in a logical, step-by-step way and to design and
implement suitable solutions.
Competency Indicators:
Defines in a clear and concise way the key issues of a problem.
Gathers and analyses the right information.
Assesses the problem from different points of view and surveys possible inter-connections.
Thinks ahead, beyond the constraints of the current situation; appeals to reason, logic
and pragmatism.
Identifies underlying connections or relations.
Distinguishes essentials from side issues, causes and consequences.
Formulates solutions and takes into account long term impacts.
Develops alternatives.
Follows up to ensure that the solution works or has a positive effect.

7. JUDGEMENT SKILLS

The ability to focus on the bottom line, to understand the impact of all actions and to make
well-reasoned, sound and timely decisions.
Competency Indicators:
Identifies the key issues in a complex situation.
Gathers relevant information before making a sound decision.
Checks assumptions against facts.
Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions on others and on the Organisation.
Anticipates emerging issues.
Makes tough decisions when facing difficult dilemmas.

8. CONCEPTUAL THINKING

The ability to identify patterns or connections between underlying issues in complex situations.
Competency Indicators:
Puts things in a broader context and with over-arching insight.
Identifies patterns or connections.
Translates discovered patterns or connections into concepts.

9. CREATIVITY

The ability to generate imaginative, innovative and new ideas or approaches.


Competency Indicators:
Thinks outside the box.
Generates and offers new and different ideas, concepts or options.

4
INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

INTERPERSONAL
SKILLS

1. SERVICE AND CLIENT ORIENTATION

The ability to discover underlying needs, to deliver solutions that meet needs and give added value.
Competency Indicators:
Focuses on service and client expectations and seeks to see matters from the others point of view.
Clarifies the needs of others and matches them to the appropriate solutions.
Empathises and responds appropriately to other peoples concerns.
Works to satisfy others expectations.
Provides service and client orientation with respect for and without discrimination as regards racial,
ethnic or national origin, gender, belief system, life style, sexual orientation, disability, etc.
Searches for answers and solutions on request or when confronted with a problem.
Informs others of progress.
Anticipates the needs or problems of others.
Makes commitments that can be kept.
Meets timeline for delivery of services to others.
Also treats colleagues with a service and client focus.
Deals with complaints.

2. TEAM WORK AND CO-OPERATION

The ability to establish and maintain excellent working relations at all levels in a multicultural
context and with respect for diversity.
Competency Indicators:
Works independently and in close co-operation with others; participates as member of a team.
Solicits input by valuing others ideas and expertise.
Supports others in acquiring new skills.
Contributes to achieving common goals; provides support to others and communicates ideas.
Works well with diversity; works well with men and women from diverse backgrounds.

3. RELATIONSHIP BUILDING AND NETWORKING

The ability to build effective, co-operative relationships with others, has a flair for human relations.
Competency Indicators:
Develops and maintains networks of contacts with counterparts, bodies, media, stakeholders, etc. in
and beyond the Organisation.
Uses leadership, team building, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills to build community
partnerships.
Builds and sustains positive working relationships with others as a reliable and accessible source of
information, assistance, guidance or advice.
Informs others about issues that may be of interest to them or have an impact on their work.
Includes parties or groups in the decision-making process in order to obtain results.
Finds the right information, support or advice where appropriate.
Facilitates collaboration with internal and external groups to ensure participation of key stakeholders.
Identifies key individuals within bodies and networks that have an (in)direct impact.
Establishes trust with others.

4. ADVISING

The ability to give sound information with recommendations and consequences.


Competency Indicators:
Uses insights, ideas and information to turn them into advice.
Bases judgement on available information and valid arguments.
Involves the right people or bodies in assignments.
Gives appropriate advice.

5. NEGOTIATING

The ability to consult and deal with others to obtain agreements, acceptance, commitment or
results, while maintaining relationships, and with a preference for win-win situations.
Competency Indicators:
Guides discussions; encourages others to discuss their own interests and agendas.
Shows respects for the views, opinions, perspectives, and backgrounds of others.
Works toward agreements involving the exchange of resources.
Resolves diverging interests.
Articulates and gets agreement.
Avoids win-lose confrontations.
Encourages buy-in and acceptance by looking for common interests and building on mutual
understanding.
Finds ways out to resolve dead ends.
Maintains composure when dealing with difficult people.

6. DIPLOMACY

The ability to interact sensitively, effectively and professionally with persons from diverse cultural,
socio-economic, educational, racial, ethnic and professional backgrounds, and of all ages and life
styles.
Competency Indicators:
Deals with high level contacts and relations (political and diplomatic level).
Recognises when tact is more important than the need to tell it like it is.
Discusses opinions without intimidating others.
Demonstrates an understanding of and sensitivity to the opinions and concerns of others.
Uses language and behaviour appropriate to and respectful of others.
Focuses on preserving long-term relationships.

5
COMMUNICATION
AND LINGUISTIC
SKILLS

1. LISTENING AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS

The ability to organise and present information, views and concepts in a concise, understandable
and interesting way for a variety of audiences, and to respond to information, questions and
requests from others.
Competency Indicators:
Listens carefully to others in an unbiased manner in order to understand the intended content of
information, concerns, questions, messages and requests.
Asks questions that evoke insight, commitment or action and maintains two-way communication.
Shares information, opinions and ideas with others.
Provides clear and direct feedback.
Communicates relevant information, ideas, and data in a clear, accurate, and concise manner.
Selects the most effective way and medium for communicating.
Is attentive to body language.
Deals and communicates with high level contacts and relations (highly developed communication
skills for political and diplomatic level).

COMMUNICATION AND
LINGUISTIC SKILLS

2. PRESENTATION SKILLS

The ability to speak in public and to lead meetings.


Competency Indicators:
Communicates with an eye for the listeners concerns.
Commands attention during a presentation.
Varies communication style according to the background of the audience.
Uses appropriate language; is aware of specific terminology.
Displays knowledge of and incorporates different presentation materials and tools.
Leads meetings, committees or work groups.
Deals with specialist/general public media.

3. WRITING SKILLS

The ability to draft clearly, concisely, accurately and convincingly from the readers perspective.
Competency Indicators:
Communicates clearly thoughts, ideas, information and messages in writing.
Creates documents such as letters, directives, manuals, reports, graphs and flow charts.
Translates complex ideas or concepts into clear and concrete language.

4. PLURILINGUALISM

The ability to express oneself in different languages.


Competency Indicators:
Recognises speech and interaction in different languages.
Speaks and interacts fluently and spontaneously in different languages.
Gives clear presentations in different languages.
Writes clear, well-structured texts in different languages.
Translates or interprets into different languages.

6
PERSONAL ATTITUDES

1. INITIATIVE AND RESPONSIBILITY

The ability to anticipate and seize opportunities without waiting to be told.


Competency Indicators:
Takes ownership of responsibilities and commitments.
Is proactive, comes up with initiatives or undertakes actions.
Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards.
Acts in compliance with organisational regulations and rules.
Accepts full accountability for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

PERSONAL
ATTITUDES

2. RESULT ORIENTATION AND SENSE FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

The ability to think and act in terms of results or targets with respect for quality and deadlines.
Competency Indicators:
Meets commitments, observes deadlines and achieves results.
Increases job efficiency and effectiveness when completing work assignments.
Evaluates and adapts current methods and procedures in order to get better results.
Gives valuable input to improvements and looks for better ways of doing things.
Gathers information on best practices.
Shows perseverance when faced with difficult problems or challenges.

3. CONCERN FOR QUALITY, EFFICIENCY AND ACCURACY

The ability to lead operations/activities from a quality, efficiency and accuracy perspective.
Competency Indicators:
Shows concern for cost/time effectiveness.
Ensures quality, efficiency, rigour and thoroughness in work delivered.
Has a meticulous approach with an eye for detail and precision.

4. ADAPTABILITY

The ability to work efficiently in a constantly changing environment and within a variety of
dynamic work situations.
Competency Indicators:
Demonstrates flexibility in new situations.
Adjusts own work plans, activities or actions to meet priorities.
Incorporates new approaches or ideas in support of changing needs.
Applies newly acquired knowledge, new work methods, technology.

5. SELF-MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

The ability to maintain performance and the willingness to develop own competencies
through on-the-job experience and feedback from others.
Competency Indicators:
Remains calm in stressful situations, under time pressure, faced with setbacks or complaints.
Recognises own strengths and weaknesses.
Seeks out feedback from others on own performance and takes appropriate action.
Is aware of new practices, approaches, technology or theories relating to own work field.
Is motivated to continuously learn and develop job-related competencies.
Seeks out learning opportunities and incorporates them into activities.

6. ORGANISATIONAL ALIGNMENT

The ability to align actions and behaviours with the role and values of the Council of Europe.
Competency Indicators:
Identifies with and acts according to the values of the Council of Europe.
Demonstrates sensitivity for civil responsibility, democratic citizenship and human rights in and
outside the Organisation.
Applies internal policies and procedures that are related to the job/work field.
Abides by the (in)formal rules of conduct of the Council of Europe.

7
PERSONAL VALUES

1. INTEGRITY, LOYALTY, COMMITMENT AND CONSCIENCE

The ability to lead by example and to abide by Council of Europe conduct guidelines and
ethics.
Competency Indicators:
Demonstrates the values and ethics of the Council of Europe in daily activities and behaviours.
Respects human dignity in work relations (Instruction No 44).
Chooses ethical courses of action.
Establishes clear agreements and keeps promises.
Acts without consideration of personal gain.
Uses power of authority appropriately.
Supports decisions that are in the Organisations interest, even if they are unpopular.
Takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour.
Applies ethical principles to the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination
of information or data.

PERSONAL VALUES

2. DISCRETION

The ability to deal appropriately with confidential data and information.


Competency Indicators:
Recognises confidential, sensitive or unpopular information.
Treats sensitive or confidential information accordingly.

3. INDEPENDENCE AND CONFIDENCE

The ability to be confident and think independently, objectively and neutrally.


Competency Indicators:
Shows confidence when working or operating at all levels within and without the Organisation.
Expresses own position and opinions clearly.
Resists undue political pressure and decision-making.
Demonstrates confidence in working with strong emotional situations.

4. RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY

The ability to treat people equally in accordance with the core values of the Council of
Europe.
Competency Indicators:
Works effectively with people from all backgrounds.
Treats all people with dignity and respect and without discrimination as regards racial,
ethnic or national origin, gender, belief system, life style, sexual orientation, disability, etc.
Shows respect for and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates this understanding in
daily work and decision-making.
Examines own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses.

NOTES

Human Resources: our most valuable asset

Council of Europe
Directorate of Human Resources
Avenue de lEurope
F 67075 Strasbourg cedex
E-mail : DRH@coe.int
(00 33 +) (0)3 88 41 34 38
Fax : (00 33 +) (0)3 88 41 39 65