Canada Revenue Agency Competencies - April 2016

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Introduction

Competency-based human resources management (CBHRM) at the Canada Revenue Agency is founded on the principle that organizational performance will result from having the right people in the right jobs with the right skills and abilities. CBHRM focuses on common competencies which are used in a number of human resources activities.

2016 CRA Competencies

The official list of 2016 CRA competencies includes those that are required by the Agency to attain its objectives and to deliver service to Canadians.

The CRA competencies were developed and are maintained by the Competencies, Performance, and Recognition Division (CPRD) in the Human Resources Branch (HRB). Input is provided from various sources within the CRA such as job competency profile coordinators, unions and competency consultants. Comments and suggestions from managers and employees who participate in the development of job competency profiles and assessment of the competencies also help to further refine them.

Although competencies are widely used throughout many organizations, these are unique to the CRA as they reflect our business needs and organizational values. The CRA Competencies will continue to evolve as the organization changes. Competencies will be added, deleted or modified as required.

Definition of Competency

The CRA defines a competency as an observable or measurable knowledge, skill, ability or behavioural characteristic that contributes to successful job performance.

There are two major components to a competency - the definition and the scale. The definition explains what the competency means. This provides a common language that everyone in the organization can use. Each competency also has a scale, which is divided into levels with descriptions of what is required to progress through the competency.

Categories of Competencies

There are two categories of competencies:

Behavioural competencies refer to the key interpersonal and personal attributes that are necessary for specific jobs across the organization. These competencies generally refer to the way a person acts, communicates and interacts with others and are products of personal motives, traits and self-images.

Technical competencies refer to the technical knowledge, skills and abilities that are relevant to specific jobs or roles across the organization. Technical competencies are usually acquired through specific learning or work experience in applying the knowledge and skill.

Using the Competencies

Behavioural Competencies

In order to understand a behavioural competency it is important to first read the definition, followed by the core motivation, the progression of scale, and then the underlying notions for each level. These are the key elements of behavioural competencies and should all be considered to provide a full description of the competency.

The title does not fully explain what is meant by the competency so the entire definition should be read to avoid misunderstanding.

  • The definition contains all the critical elements of the competency. It ensures a common understanding of what this competency means within CRA.
  • The core motivation works together with the competency definition and is helpful to determine the underlying intention behind the behaviour.
  • There is also a section that explains what the competency means and does not mean.
  • Each behavioural competency also contains a Purpose, which describes why the competency is important to the CRA and how the behaviour can support our business.
  • The progression of scale describes how the behaviours change and evolve as the levels increase and it works together with the underlying notions as the scale progresses. An explanation of the progression of scale is provided.
  • The underlying notions describe the fundamental concepts of behaviours which are demonstrated at each level.
  • The portion entitled “Behaviours could include, but are not limited to” describes some actions and behaviours that may generally be seen, and provides a further explanation of each underlying notion. These are sample behavioural indicators for each level on the scale and are illustrative, not definitive. Therefore, this portion is not intended to be an exhaustive list and should not be used as a checklist since there are many ways in which the behaviours can be demonstrated.
  • The behaviours generally build on each other. As the levels increase, elements of behaviours of the preceding levels are usually demonstrated. For example, if level 3 is demonstrated, the behaviours will also include elements of levels 1 and 2.

You may use the following information as a general guideline when reviewing the underlying notions for each level of competency:

Level 1 - usually reactive behaviour. The behaviour is usually in response or reaction to a situation and may be influenced or prompted by someone else, such as a supervisor or a client.

Level 2 - usually active behaviour. It involves effort or attention required to engage in action. This behaviour may be demonstrated by an action or a concern.

Level 3 - usually proactive behaviour. It involves foresight in order to take action in advance or prepare for an expected occurrence or situation rather than waiting to respond until after it happens. This type of behaviour is often based on knowledge or past experience.

Level 4 - usually strategic behaviour. This behaviour involves a broad perspective in order to plan and take action related to a strategy for addressing a complex situation. The outcome of this behaviour may have future impacts on the larger organization.

Competencies are not pure and pristine; they often have some overlapping elements. This is the nature of human behaviour, and competencies reflect this complexity. The same situation can provide an opportunity to demonstrate a number of behaviours which may reflect more than one competency. For example, an individual who is providing service to a client might show Service Excellence and Effective Interactive Communication. The Effective Interactive Communication competency may be demonstrated during their discussions with the client in order to ensure that their message is understood. The Service Excellence may be demonstrated through their desire and commitment to provide quality service to the client.

Technical Competencies

Each technical competency has its own definition however they all share a generic five-level proficiency scale. The progression of this scale begins with a basic knowledge at level 1 to a demonstrated expert capability at level 5. When reading a technical competency it is important that you read the entire definition and refer to the Proficiency Scale for the Technical Competencies for an understanding of each level.

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