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March 2014

18. Competency Tiers

  Competency Tiers Model v1.1

There are three Competency Tiers within the Competency Hierarchy - Core, Domain and Execution:

  • The CORE Competencies Tier reflects the personal abilities of individuals enabling them to conduct a measureable activity or deliver a measurable outcome. This core tier is subdivided into the following four competency sets: Foundational traits – personal attributes inherent in an individual that cannot be acquired through training or education; Situational enablers – personal attributes related to nationality, language and other criteria which may play a relevant role when delivering a service or a product; Qualifications and licenses – personal attributes related to the existence or sufficiency of academic degrees, scientific publications, professional accreditations, trade/skill certificates or licences; and Historical indicators – attributes related to employment history, project experiences (including project types and sizes), roles played and positions held.
  • The DOMAIN Competencies Tier refers to the professional abilities of individuals, the means they use to perform multi-task activities and the methods they employ to deliver outcomes with complex requirements. There are eight competency sets within this tier:  four primary sets - Managerial, Functional, Technical and Supportive - representing the main types of professional ability; and four secondary sets - Administration, Operation, Implementation and Research & Development - identifying those abilities which are formed by the overlap of primary sets.
  • The EXECUTION Competencies Tier represents an individual’s ability to use specific tools and techniques to conduct an activity or deliver a measureable outcome. The ability to use a software tool (e.g. a 3D model authoring tool), drive a vehicle (e.g. a 30 tonne tipper truck) or operate specialized field equipment (e.g. a laser scanner) are examples of execution tier competencies. Also, the ability to employ specialized techniques (e.g. programming, drawing and plastering) is also classified under this tier.

17. Competency Hierarchy

  BIMe Competency Hierarchy v1.3

The BIM Competency Hierarchy includes three BIM competency tiers which are divided into several BIM competency sets which are, in turn, subdivided into BIM competency topics. These tiers, sets, topics - and their granular subdivision into competency items - represent all the measureable abilities, outcomes and activities of individuals who deliver model-based products and services.

16. Competency Flow

image from www.bimframework.infoCompetency Flow Framework (Full-size), replaces Competency Flow Model v1.0 (2013)

Modified Spe 24, 2016: The Competency Flow Framework describes how individual competencies can be identified, classified, aggregated and then used/re-used. The framework includes a number of components:

  • Competency Identification through analysing job advertisement; dissecting BIM-specific roles as defined within BIM guides, BIM management plans and similar documents; reviewing academic literature and industry publications; adopting and adapting formal skill inventories, competency pools, and accreditation criteria; and harvesting competency requirements from industry associations, organizations and subject matter experts.
  • Competency Classification under tiers, sets and topics - refer to BIM Competency Hierarchy and Competency Tiers
  • Competeny Aggregation into a structured inventory to allow their custom collation and retrieval (please refer to to learn how classified BIM competencies have been aggregated through a database-driven web solution)
  • Competency Use and Reuse to perform three complementary actions: competency acquisition, competency application and competency assessment - please refer to Competency Engine

15. Individual Competency Index


 Individual Competency Index  (v1.4 full size - older version v1.2)

The Individual Competency Index (ICI) measures both  conceptual knowledge (referred to as knowledge) and procedural knowledge (referred to as skill) which are needed by individuals in order to perform a defined activity or deliver a measureable outcome. 

The ICI identifies five competency levels (0-4):

  • Level 0 (none) denotes a lack of competence in a specific area or topic;
  • Level 1 (basic) denotes an understanding of fundamentals and some initial practical application;
  • Level 2 (intermediate) denotes a solid conceptual understanding and some practical application;
  • Level 3 (advanced) denotes significant conceptual knowledge and practical experience in performing a competency to a consistently high standard; and
  • Level 4 (expert) denotes extensive knowledge, refined skill and prolonged experience in performing a defined competency at the highest standard.

The index also identifies two competency divides: the learning divide separating level 0 from level 1, and the time/repetition divide separating level 3 from level 4.

However, although the ICI measures both knowledge and skill, it does not measure personal traits (typically referred to as attitude) which require specialized psychometric indices similar to Myers-Briggs and RIASEC. Also, the ICI only measures the abilities of individuals and - by extension, the aggregate abilities of a group of individuals -  but does not measure the abilities of organizations, organizational teams or larger organizational scales (refer to BIM Capability Stages and BIM Maturity Levels).

For a BIM perspective of how to apply the ICI in assessing BIM competencies, please refer to this article on BIMThinkspace.