Competencies are the knowledge, skills and attributes you can develop in every aspect of your life. As more and more supervisors focus on competencies in the hiring process, successful candidates will be those who can develop strong competencies, fill gaps with relevant experience and communicate their competencies effectively in résumés and interviews. The resources in this kit will help you do just that!
- Understanding competencies
- Your core competencies
- Your program‑specific competencies
- Your professional competencies
- Your intercultural competencies
- Competency kit learning objectives
- Index of competency kit resources
Your core competencies
At Co-op and Career, we’ve identified 10 core competencies that are valuable to all employers. Our core competencies align with UVic's Learning Outcomes, reflecting the important connection between academic study and the world of work. Learn about these competencies in the tabs below.
- For download: Description of the 10 core competencies
Learn about your
10 core competencies
Personal management means that you understand yourself and are conscious of the implications of your interactions with others.
You show personal management skills when you:
- act with honesty, integrity and personal ethics
- recognize your personal efforts and the efforts of others
- acknowledge diverse opinions and accept differences
- manage your personal health and emotional well-being
- take responsibility and demonstrate resiliency and accountability for yourself
- plan and manage your personal time, finances and other resources
- assess, weigh and manage risk in the face of uncertainty
- recognize your strengths and areas for improvement
- adapt to new environments and cultures
Communication means that you’re comfortable using a broad range of communication styles, and you choose appropriate, effective ways to communicate to different audiences in diverse situations.
Your show communication skills when you:
- communicate in a respectful tone and manner
- listen actively and communicate effectively with others
- write clearly and accurately in a variety of contexts and formats
- listen and ask questions to understand other people’s viewpoints
- communicate issues in a timely manner
- are aware of and responsive to verbal and non-verbal communication styles
- recognize cultural differences in communication
- use effective cross-cultural communication skills
Managing information means that you’re able to think critically and gather, sort, store and use information to turn data into knowledge.
You show information management skills when you:
- research and interpret relevant information from a range of sources
- review, retain and apply ideas
- demonstrate numerical literacy
- evaluate the validity and bias of information
- use gathered data to draw conclusions or to create new sources of information that can be shared with others
- document your sources of information
- use appropriate technology to find and process information
Research and analysis
Research and analysis
Research and analysis means that you use information from a variety of sources—including personal experience and your own observations—to identify options and solve problems.
You research and analyze when you:
- recognize the human, interpersonal and technical sides of a problem
- access, analyze and apply knowledge and skills from various disciplines
- think critically and strategically
- apply knowledge and skills from past experiences to new situations
- assess situations and identify problems
- explore possible solutions in an innovative and creative way
- evaluate solutions to make decisions
Project and task management
Project and task management
Project and task management means that you plan, implement, manage and measure projects and tasks in a timely and directed manner.
You put this competency into practice when you:
- plan and carry out projects with well-defined goals and outcomes
- determine appropriate implementation strategies, tools and technologies
- adapt to changing work priorities and workplace practices
- use a range of assessment techniques to monitor a project or task
- establish priorities to meet deadlines
- carry out multiple tasks or projects at the same time
Teamwork means that you work cooperatively and collaboratively with others to achieve collective goals.
You show teamwork when you:
- work within the dynamics of a group
- show commitment to the team’s purpose and goals
- accept and provide feedback in a constructive and considerate way
- share information and encourage others to do the same
- support and motivate the group to perform at its best
- recognize the role of conflict when appropriate
- build professional relationships
- show accountability to the team’ and follow through on your commitments
- work effectively with different personalities across a variety of social and professional situations
- consider diverse, cross-cultural perspectives and working styles
Commitment to quality
Commitment to quality
Commitment to quality means that you take pride in your work and strive for excellence to achieve the best possible results.
You show commitment to quality when you:
- look for opportunities to improve your work practices
- generate ideas for improvement
- pay attention to the quality of your work
- persist when difficulties arise
- try innovative ways to get things done
- consider situations from new perspectives
- evaluate work results for effectiveness
Professional behaviour means you use sound judgment to meet or exceed your guidelines, standards and expectations.
You show professional behaviour when you:
- follow workplace policies (e.g. health and safety, equity, harassment and confidentiality)
- recognize your rights and responsibilities
- respect federal and provincial laws related to workplace policies and procedures
- abide by the standards of practice recognized in your field
- take responsibility to understand and adapt to workplace culture
Social responsibility means that you recognize how your beliefs, ethics and actions fit within the context of a greater community.
You show social responsibility when you:
- know your personal convictions and strive to put them into practice
- accept responsibility for your own actions
- show a respect for others’ rights and diverse ideas
- demonstrate personal, professional and academic honesty
- choose ethical courses of action
- contribute to your local, national and international community
- build equitable relationships
- consider the broader implications of your decisions
- evaluate ethical aspects as part of decision-making
- act responsibly in accordance with sound principles of sustainability
Continuous learning means that you acquire and apply new knowledge and skills in all of your experiences.
You show continuous learning when you:
- set and pursue personal and educational goals
- identify and access learning sources and opportunities
- show a willingness to continuously learn and grow
- learn from your mistakes and successes
- seek and accept constructive feedback from others
- stay current with techniques and technologies in your field
By practicing reflection, you can transfer the competencies you’ve developed in the classroom to the workplace and understand the gaps between what you know and what you can become. This reflection process takes thought and time, but with practice, it will become easier and more effective.
Assessing your competencies involves rating your competencies before, during and after your work and life experiences. For co-op students, you'll assess your core competencies at the beginning, midpoint and end of each work term.
Use the How to assess your competencies - info sheet to learn how to complete a competency assessment.
Then, use the Competency assessment - worksheet to:
- document your current competencies (and recognize any competency gaps to fill with relevant experience)
- describe your competencies (this helps you market your skills to employers!)
This will help you find out where you fit on this scale for each competency:
- Beginning: You start to find opportunities to develop skills related to your competencies.
- Developing: You practice your competencies in the workplace, classroom and in daily life, and often think about how to develop your skills.
- Accomplished: You reach your competency goals and are always thinking about opportunities to use your skills.
- Exemplary: You’re a master—you completely understand your competencies and are constantly using them in all areas of your life.
Want help? Work with a career educator (for all students) or co-op coordinator (for co-op students) to talk about your competency development.