Is it possible for an association to use a competency model to drive professional development for members? Yes!
A competency model describes what it looks like to be great in your role. Isn't that part of the value proposition of industry associations, to help people get to great? When it comes to innovation, helping people be more strategic about where to upskill is often the place to innovate.
In addition to having in depth knowledge about what people need to be able to do in that industry now, associations also have significant insight about how the industry is changing and the skills that will be required in the future. This puts associations in the perfect position to develop competency models to help members themselves innovate.
When building a competency model for an association, because members span different companies with different job titles, you need to describe job roles more generally. For example, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) has different tracks, such as Learning Management or Instructional Design. Other associations, like the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) use years of experience in the role to delineate between different models and target levels of proficiency. So it’s important to identify how many different roles you need to support, and if they need multiple models or only one model with different target levels of proficiency.
In addition to having unique insight, associations typically provide development resources, which enable members to close identified gaps with competency-based learning.Having a competency model enables the association to better organize and direct members to the best resources, generate even MORE member value, and make their competency model actionable.