Designing your competency framework

Get a competency framework right for your organisation and your talent management practices make a real and lasting contribution. Get it wrong – or choose not to have one at all – and performance management and succession planning is compromised.

Competency frameworkWe’ll start where you are

Whether you have a framework already which needs updating, are starting from scratch, or want to take our Head Light Competency Framework and adapt it, our business psychologists will work with you and your project team.

A blended approach

We’ll propose a plan based on your timescale, budget and what you are wanting to achieve. This could include consulting widely, facilitating focus groups, focusing on discussion with a few core people, talking widely with HR. We’ll share with you the pros and cons of each suggested approach, so you can make an informed choice.

Process and politics

Sensitive to internal politics, the need for inclusion and aware of historical sensitivities, we know what it takes to design a framework that is accepted and becomes embedded. But we know when to draw the line – and be pragmatic, practical and respectful of time. We’ll map out a project road map, update this as we go along and give you the words and messages for you to manage your internal communication.

Testing, trialling and mapping

Whether we facilitate group discussion or focus on core conversations, the draft framework will be tested and trialled – and using our Talent® where possible. We’ll then map the final competencies onto your talent management practices including 360 degree feedback.


We’re not about you depending on us as consultants. We look to share and transfer our knowledge so you can take the framework forward.

Designing a competency framework:

  • Gives a common language to your talent management activities
  • Brings organisational values to life
  • Connects organisational goals with day-to-day behaviours and skills needed
  • Enhances engagement and retention
  • Provides an understanding of your organisation’s capability
  • Identifies potential in your people
  • Helps managers maximise their teams

Related information

    Time to spring clean your competency framework?

    14 April 2016

    If you already have a competency framework that has been in place for more than a couple of years, it may be in need of a strategic review and see how it’s working for your business.

    Bringing your competency framework to life

    21 April 2016

    In what ways are competencies visible in your organisation?  What would you see if a competency framework was really ‘alive’?

Watch the Video

Screenshot for video: Capabilities - a new name for capabilities

Watch the video: Capabilities – a new name for capabilities

  • Head Light partnered with us to develop our new competency framework. We’ve had some great fun together, and created a behavioural, values-based framework which will underpin our talent management efforts across the organisation.

    Heidi Lewis, UCAS

  • The team at Head Light was a great support as we carried out a competency audit of our global leadership team.  They guided us through the design and implementation stage, making valuable practical suggestions which really worked.

    Antoinette Quinn, Aer Rianta International

  • Head Light works with us as a critical friend, asking the right questions at the right time to make sure our competency framework delivers maximum benefit for our organisation and the people who work here.

    Julie O’Donnell, Daikin

  • Head Light has helped us take this important step in the adoption of talent management practices.

    Clair Clarke, Trapeze Group UK

  • Working with Head Light’s business psychologists gave us a great sounding board to check out our ideas and provided a different perspective to our thinking.

    Peter Dawes, Horsham District Council

  • The levels of support and flexibility we have enjoyed are second to none.

    Lesley Pritchard, Hertfordshire Constabulary

  • Head Light challenged our thinking and helped us explore what we really wanted from our programme.

    Annette Cairns, Ramsay Health Care

  • Working with Head Light is a really positive experience.

    Alison Sercombe, Thames Valley Police