Talent Management for the Finance Community - Employee Guide to Competency-Based Management

Office of the Comptroller General
Financial Management Sector
Capacity Building and Community Development

Table of Contents

Foreword

The Employee Guide to Competency-Based Management is a tool that is part of the overarching Financial Management Human Resources Management Framework (FM HRMF). The aim of the framework is to enable and support a self-sufficient, top quality FM community across the federal public sector. The framework provides an infrastructure along with tools and support services to position the FM community as professionals who perform unique, value-added work within the Government of Canada. Community-wide implementation of the framework across departments will therefore help foster a robust and sustainable FM community.

The Comptroller General recognizes the many strengths of the community, and encourages the cooperation of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Deputy Chief Financial Officers (DCFOs) in implementing the framework in order to advance the professionalization of the community.

Figure 1: Financial Management Human Resources Management Framework
Financial Management Human Resources Management Framework. Text version below:
Figure 1 - Text version

The financial management human resources management framework is broken down into four sections, controlling; planning; leading and organizing. There is a continuous circle around community outreach that includes aspects such as business and HR planning which feeds into functional models and generic work descriptions which feeds into competency profiles which feeds into resourcing which feeds into learning and professional development which feeds into performance management and community outreach which feeds into business outreach including business and HR planning and the circle continues.

The FM HRMF is a holistic approach to talent management because it facilitates hiring the right people, helps focus on learning and training at all levels of the community, clarifies roles and responsibilities and increases retention. It helps executives and employees manage their career and clarify job expectations.

The Office of the Comptroller General (OCG) will continue to assist the FM community in formulating advice and developing approaches that are timely, value-added and risk-targeted.

Introduction

The OCG, in collaboration with the financial management (FM) community, has developed the Financial Management Human Resources Management Framework to help the community in its efforts to maintain a self-sustaining, professional workforce. At the core of the framework is a competency-based management system that provides a set of common tools designed according to best practices in both the private and public sectors.

The Employee Guide to Competency-Based Management works interdependently with the FM competency profiles and dictionary, explains the FM competency-based management system, and walks employees through a self-assessment process to help determine their strengths and developmental opportunities, which ultimately will help them develop their career more effectively.

The competency-based management system supports the conversation that employees have with their supervisors about their present work and career aspirations by identifying elements that should be included in their learning plan.

1 Competency-Based Management Context

1.1 Development of Competency-Based Management Tools

Competencies were first introduced to the FM community in 1995 with the development of the financial officers’ competency profile and its accompanying guide and automated self-assessment tool. Although the profile and its associated tools were endorsed by the FM community, its integration and use was sporadic.

In 2007, renewed efforts were put forward to reviewing and updating the FI competency profile to appropriately reflect the changes in the FM working environment. Initiatives such as the development of the FI to CFO Career Path (2006), the development of the Financial Management Strategic HR Framework (2006-07), and the launch of a new competency-based development program for financial specialists (2007) all supported this renewed interest in competencies.

The project was developed in two parts: the development of a behavioural competency profile (2008-10) and a functional competency profile (2010-11).

The behavioural profile includes three key skills required by all FM professionals as well as the seven Key Leadership Competencies developed by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer.

The functional competencies align with the four major functional streams (Accounting operations, Planning and Resource Management, Financial Policy and Financial Systems) as well as the functional experience outlined in the FI to CFO Career Path.

Work was also undertaken to document the FI competency profiles’ alignment with the competency maps of the three professional accounting bodies in Canada (CA, CMA, CGA).

The DCFO Council has endorsed the behavioural and functional profiles.

Appendix A contains the complete competency dictionary for the FM community and includes the behavioural and functional competencies as identified in Table 1.

Table 1. Behavioural and Functional Competencies
Behavioural Functional
  1. Oral and Written Communication
  2. Risk Management
  3. Negotiating/Persuading
  4. Values and Ethics
  5. Strategic Thinking – Analysis
  6. Strategic Thinking – Ideas
  7. Engagement
  8. Management Excellence – Action
  9. Management Excellence – People
  10. Management Excellence - Finance
  1. Accounting and Reporting
  2. Planning and Resource Management
  3. Financial Policy
  4. Financial Systems

1.2  Competencies in Context With Other Human Resources Tools

Competency proficiency indicators describe the minimum skills and knowledge needed to execute the work successfully. They can be used to assess how work is carried out, for example:

  • Applying appropriate accounting principles and standards, tools and techniques to assigned work; or
  • Independently applying appropriate resource management principles, methodologies and techniques in unique and complex situations.

The results of a competency assessment will provide information about the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will enable you to perform your work more successfully.

A performance agreement describes the deliverables and timelines that you must complete for a given year. A performance objective is very specific to what you must produce, for example:

  • Complete the review of the departmental financial statements by December; or
  • Analyze the implications for the department of a new central agency policy and provide advice to senior management by September.

Work descriptions describe the key activities, responsibilities, and authorities of a position. For example:

  • Responsible for validating departmental revenue and expenditure transactions.

Table 2 summarizes the key differences between these three human resources (HR) tools:

Table 2. Key Differences Between Three HR Tools
Competency Proficiency Indicator (How) Performance Agreement Objective (What) Work Description (What)
Note: Although competency level and job level are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings. A job level refers to the education, skills, and knowledge required for a specific job; a competency level refers to the personal attributes of the person occupying the job.
  • Description of the way in which work is performed
  • Linked to skills, knowledge, and behaviours that enable an individual to successfully complete assigned work
  • Written in the language of the profession (financial management)
  • Used to manage an individual’s development and career paths
  • Formal assessment of the ability to complete assigned tasks
  • Linked to the mandate and deliverables of the FM function
  • Used to manage the assignment of work in a group
  • Describes the authorities, responsibilities, and scope of work
  • Uses a principles-based approach rather than a task list
  • Written in HR language to enable a classification officer to assess the job level

2 Competency-Based Management 101

This employee guide will walk you through competency-based management to help you manage your FM career more effectively.

2.1 Characteristics of Competencies

Competencies are measurable and observable skills, abilities or knowledge that enable an employee to perform satisfactorily in a position. Competencies outline a precise and shared view of what enables an employee to successfully complete the work at his or her position level.

The competency tools define expectations for learning, staffing and recruitment, and job-performance management.

Each competency has a progressive range of proficiency levels, and each level has indicators.

Competency proficiency indicators are as follows:

  • Measurable (exclude verbs such as “to understand” or “to be aware”);
  • Relevant to the progression scale of the competency;
  • Meaningful to FM; and
  • Significant in that they represent the key skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to undertake FM work.

The following is an example of a proficiency indicator at the FI-02 proficiency level for the negotiating/persuading competency:

  • Facilitates positive dialogue between others with the goal of resolving differences and reaching a win-win solution.

2.2 Types of Competencies

Competencies can be behavioural (e.g., is effective at working in teams) as well as functional or knowledge-focused (e.g., use of specific knowledge of a program area in a particular context), for example:

  • Resource management (functional): Knowledge-based skill developed through training and demonstrated through the execution of procedures; or
  • Management excellence - people (behavioural): The effective application of behaviours that require emotional effort.

Behavioural and functional competencies work in tandem. Although planning and resource management is important, an individual will be successful only if he or she is also able to demonstrate behaviours related to strategic thinking analysis and ideas in providing sound financial advice and guidance to management. Planning and resource management, by its nature, requires an individual to demonstrate strength in identifying critical elements of an issue and finding innovative solutions to address it.

A competency dictionary and job profiles assist in the following:

  • Clarifying individual capability requirements for staffing and recruiting FM positions:
    • Statements of merit;
    • Interviewing and testing candidates; and
    • Knowing what level of competence is required when applying for positions within your department or in another FM function;
  • Providing clear objectives that learning and training activities must deliver to align with a given job classification level:
    • Learning plan objectives; and
    • Aligning training with job-level requirements; and
  • Providing a common vocabulary and clear expectations for employee performance management:
    • Performance agreements and deliverables.

2.3 Reading the Competency Dictionary

The competency dictionary is found in Appendix A. The dictionary is organized by competency and displays the following information:

  • Competency title;
  • A short definition; and
  • Key indicators associated with each proficiency level.

The FI competency profile has four levels of proficiency for each competency. Each level has been associated to a level within the FI occupational group (Level 1: FI--01, Level 2: FI--02, Level 3: FI--03, and Level 4: FI--04).

Table 3. Competency Titles and Definitions
Competency Title – (Gives the name associated with the competency)
Competency Definition – (Describes what the competency means)
Level 1
Underlying Notion
Level 2
Underlying Notion
Level 3
Underlying Notion
Level 4
Underlying Notion
Indicators
  • Relates to basic behaviours
Indicators
  • Active behaviours reflecting an action, a concern or an attitude
Indicators
  • Proactive behaviours that are often initiated based on knowledge or past experience
Indicators
  • Comprehensive behaviours that relate to actions that have an impact beyond one’s immediate team and more on the larger organization

The performance indicators capture the essential skills that must be demonstrated to meet the proficiency level. Only the key performance indicators are included. The concept is similar to risk-based planning where some elements have more weight, and others have no significant impact on the overall result.

The progression across the levels is cumulative. For example, exhibiting behaviours at level 3 implies a demonstration of behaviours related to levels 1 and 2.

Each indicator has been written to reflect how a FM specialist who meets expectations would demonstrate his or her level of proficiency in terms of quality, timeliness and responsiveness.

Indicators use measurable verbs and describe actions that are under the control of the person demonstrating the proficiency (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Competency Proficiency Scale
Competency Proficiency Scale. Text version below:
Figure 2 - Text version

The competency proficiency scale is an instrument used to measure one's ability to demonstrate a competency on the job along a spectrum ranging from "Not performing" to "Exceeds".

2.4 Understanding the Competency Profiles

FM specialists can perform several types of work that contribute to the mandate of their FM group within one of the following work streams:

  • Accounting operations;
  • Planning and resource management;
  • Financial policy; and
  • Financial systems.
Job competency profiles are a combination of position level and work stream.

For the purposes of this exercise, we have limited ourselves to the generic FI role within government, making no distinction of its work stream or its individual role. These generic job profiles can be used as a starting point to developing individual job profiles within government departments and agencies. For example, an FI-02 financial advisor responsible for a particularly large and complex client group may require a high level of diplomacy in communications and client engagement. The profile for this position within the planning and resource management work stream would reflect this by assigning a higher proficiency level to those competencies if warranted.

Competency profiles describe the corresponding proficiency level for each competency in the competency dictionary. Competency profiles not only provide information on the expectations but can also be used to assess readiness for promotion or a move to another FM work stream (career path).

3 The Career Management Cycle

The career management cycle will walk you through an eight-step process to reveal the skills, knowledge and behaviours that you use to complete your work, and to identify areas for future development. Once the areas for development are confirmed by your supervisor or mentor, you can begin to work on improving your skill level and chart your career progress in FM. Statements of merit, possible interview questions, and learning needs will become clearer.

Steps 1 to 6 are described in section 3.1, and steps 7 and 8 are described in section 3.2.

Figure 3: Career Management Cycle
Career Management Cycle. Text version below:
Figure 3 - Text version

The competency based management cycle is an eight-step self-assessment process that identifies the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to complete the work successfully and identify areas for future development.

The 8 steps are:

  • Step 1: Mapping
  • Step 2: Identify performance indicators
  • Step 3: Situational examples (STAR)
  • Step 4: Assessment
  • Step 5: Identify gaps
  • Step 6: Validation
  • Step 7: Learning plan
  • Step 8: Evergreening

3.1 Assessing Your Proficiency Level

The assessment process is straightforward: you, a colleague, your mentor and/or your supervisor analyze how well you demonstrate each competency at the required proficiency level. This assessment can be done using the profile of your current position or that of a desired future position.

Figure 4: Competency Assessment Options
Competency Assessment Options. Text version below:
Figure 4 - Text version

The assessment process will provide analysis of how well you demonstrate each competency at the required proficiency level; it can be done using the profile of your current position or that of a desired future position. Assessment against existing position demonstrates – if person in job X is being asked to demonstrate a competency such as engagement at a Level 3 proficiency, the objective is to determine to what extent Level 3 proficiency indicators are demonstrated in his or her current work. For assessment against a desired position, if an individual, for example, wants to work in Internal Control in the future, he or she can begin to work on the development of their financial policy competency, as positions in that area may require a higher proficiency level.

Step 1: Mapping –Using the Assessment Form in Appendix B, identify the generic job for which you want to perform the assessment. Indicate (as noted in the profile) the proficiency level requirements for each of the competencies in the column titled “Required Proficiency.”

Figure 5: Section of the Financial Management Competency-Based Assessment Template ("Required Proficiency")
Section of the Financial Management Competency-Based Assessment Template ('Required Proficiency'). Text version below:
Figure 5 - Text version

This figure indicates the different elements of the cycle: Competency Title, Required Proficiency, Situational Examples and includes the different assessment ratings (insufficient, basic, proficient and advanced). In this particular figure, the Required Proficiency box is highlighted. The candidate is required to input into this box the proficiency level of the position (current or future) being assessed (FI-01, FI-02, FI-03 or FI-04).

Step 2: Identify Performance Indicators –Review each of the proficiency indicators for the target proficiency level to ensure that you understand what is being measured. See section 2.1 for details on proficiency indicator characteristics.

Step 3 Situational Examples –List the projects and activities that you have completed in the last 6 to 12 months. Describe how you applied the performance indicators in completing your work.

Figure 6: Section of the Financial Management Competency-Based Assessment Template ("Situational Examples")
Section of the Financial Management Competency-Based Assessment Template ('Situational Examples'). Text version below:
Figure 6 - Text version

This figure indicates the different elements of the cycle: Competency Title, Required Proficiency, Situational Examples and includes the different assessment ratings (insufficient, basic, proficient and advanced). In this particular figure, the Situational Examples box is highlighted. The candidate is required to input into this box information concerning the projects/activities that best demonstrate the proficiency level being assessed.

To help in describing the situational examples, use the STAR formula (“situation,” “task,” “action” and “result”). Appendix D contains a template of the STAR formula.

Step 4 Assessment –Perform the assessment against your existing position and/or a future position. This step is vital to the process and requires a high level of self-awareness. Being honest with yourself will enable you to identify what areas you need to work on to achieve your goals. Seek confirmation from others with whom you have worked and that you trust.

Figure 7: Section of the Financial Management Competency-Based Assessment Template ("Assessment of Competencies")
Section of the Financial Management Competency-Based Assessment Template ('Assessment of Competencies'). Text version below:
Figure 7 - Text version

This figure indicates the different elements of the cycle: Competency Title, Required Proficiency, Situational Examples and includes the different assessment ratings (insufficient, basic, proficient and advanced). In this particular figure, the assessment rating boxes are highlighted. The candidate is required to tick the appropriate rating box that represents the completed assessment.

The assessment-rating scales measure to what extent you have demonstrated the indicators in your past activities and how consistently you demonstrate the indicators while executing your work

Table 4. Rating Scale for Competency Assessments
Incorporate Into Learning Plan Expected Range of Performance
Insufficient
(1):
Basic
(2):
Proficient
(3):
Advanced
(4):
Limited or No Evidence of All Behaviours Moderate Evidence of Some Behaviours Evidence of All or Most Behaviours Strong Evidence of All or Most Behaviours
The individual has not yet had an opportunity to demonstrate the behaviour/knowledge, or there is not enough information to make a valid assessment The individual applies this behaviour/knowledge in common situations that present limited problems. Requires guidance to deal with more challenging situations. The individual applies this behaviour/knowledge in a full range of typical challenges with minimal need for guidance. The individual applies this behaviour/knowledge appropriately in unusual or complex situations. Can guide others in dealing with unique and challenging situations.

You may wish to discuss with your supervisor and/or mentor the best way to address areas that resulted in a “basic” or an “insufficient” rating in order to develop learning and development activities to incorporate into your learning plan. These activities could include attending a specific course, undertaking a developmental assignment or project, obtaining an accounting designation, or working with a coach.

Step 5: Environmental Considerations – Gaps in learning and/or competency development may be identified in the assessment process. These gaps will help you target your efforts and enable you to take concrete actions to manage your career.

Step 6 Validation –Have your supervisor complete the competency assessment and compare notes. This step provides an opportunity to look at different perspectives and come to an agreement on your learning and development priorities. The competency dictionary will provide you and your supervisor with a common vocabulary to guide the discussion.

* To be successful remember that you should work on a maximum of two to three competencies over a 6 to 12 month period. Plan accordingly.

In summary, the results of a competency assessment will provide FM specialists and their supervisor with information on the following:

  • Behaviours to successfully perform at a given level;
  • Information on areas that require further development in relation to a current or future job; and
  • Information on learning activity objectives that would help close any gaps and address areas for development.

3.2 Building Your Learning Plan

A learning and development plan is an agreement between the employee and his or her supervisor that enables the employee to develop the competency proficiency needed to meet the requirements of his or her position or to advance his or her career by preparing for a future position. The plan allows individuals to reflect on their current situation and potential career aspirations and to explore various available learning and developmental opportunities.

Learning constitutes formal courses, on-the-job training, developmental assignments, networking meetings, and any activity where skills and knowledge are improved.

Individuals should use their departmental learning plan templates for this exercise.

Take the time to reflect on questions such as the following: Am I performing at my highest ability? What is keeping me back? What other work would I like to perform? Am I ready for a promotion? What else do I need to consider? Answers to these questions will help you identify areas to include in your learning plan.

Figure 8: Translation of Performance Into Concrete Learning Activities
Translation of Performance Into Concrete Learning Activities. Text version below:
Figure 8 - Text version

Figure 8. Translation of Performance Into Concrete Learning Activities provides an overview of how performance and competency assessment activities and results and the individual's learning history contribute to recognizing gaps and identifying appropriate learning and development activities to address these gaps. On the left side is a box named Performance Review, a box named Learning History of Individual and a box named competency assessment results. All three boxes feed into the box on the right named Learning and development Plan. This box includes Gap 1 – course 1 functional; Gap 2 – course 2; Gap 3 developmental assignment to work on competencies A and B; and Gap 4 – on the job training.

The steps for drafting a learning and development plan are to use the tools in the appendices of this guide, complete steps 1 to 6 of the Career Management Cycle, be open, seek feedback, reflect and chart your next steps in managing your career.

Step 7: Learning Plan –Identify the training budget and learning opportunities that are available to you.

Identify a range of possible learning activities that could help close the gaps. Using the budget and input from your supervisor, narrow down the options to specific courses, workshops, developmental assignments, readings and on-the-job activities that will enable you to improve your proficiency levels. Learning and development options include the following:

  • Formal classroom training offered by your department or agency, the Canada School of Public Service; the provincial Chartered Accountant, Certified General Accountant and Certified Management Accountant associations; colleges and/or universities; and private sector organizations (i.e. the Financial Management Institute);
  • On-the-job training through assignments and projects within your department or agency; and
  • Support provided by experienced colleagues, supervisors or managers and mentors.

Your supervisor will often make recommendations within the context of broader organizational needs. Document the results of discussions in your departmental learning plan form.

Step 8: Evergreening –Keep your competency assessment up to date so that it reflects how new experiences, projects and training have affected your proficiency levels. Update your completed portfolio of projects and be mindful of competencies that you will need to develop in the future.

4 Additional Information

4.1 Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is competency-based management being supported?

    Competency-based management is a way of defining the expectations of how work should be performed at different working levels and for different types of work. As competency-based management becomes adopted in the FM community, the expectations for each job level will become clearer and more consistent.

    For example, irrespective of the home department of an FI-03, the position’s baseline expectations for this level at different departments will be the same. Competency-based management will remove the guesswork from knowing what the minimum expectation is for each job level.

  • What is the difference between my performance review and the competency assessment process?

    Your performance review evaluates the work that you accomplished in the past fiscal year. Your competency assessment is an assessment that allows you to identify areas where you need further professional development.

    For example, your performance review will have deliverables and timelines such as “complete the review of the departmental financial statements by ,” whereas the competency profile for your job will describe how you do this work.

  • Am I obligated to use competency-based management tools or complete the self-assessment?

    No. The tools are available to help you progress in your career, the assessment is done voluntarily and is intended to guide you in your professional development and career path. Departments retain the authority to determine their own management tools.

  • What are the benefits of assessing my competency level?

    Competency assessment is a process of self-discovery. It enables you to identify your strengths and weaknesses in relation to your current job. It also helps you identify the competencies required for a desired job, thereby allowing you to plan your career path and learning needs to obtain the skills needed to move ahead.

  • What if my supervisor has not yet adopted the competency-based approach to human resources management?

    Competency-based management lets you manage your career independently of how your supervisor manages your development. You can still use the competency-based management tools in discussions with your supervisor. The dictionary will provide the vocabulary and clear indicators needed to describe how your work should be performed. Employees should complete the self-assessment before holding discussions with their supervisors.

  • What if I disagree with my supervisor on the gap analysis results?

    The competency gap analysis helps identify areas where you are doing well and areas where you need to improve. This information will feed into the discussion with your supervisor and help shape your learning plan. You and your supervisor can have different assessment results; however, you will need to agree on what will go into your learning plan.

  • If I exceed or do not meet the minimum proficiency levels for my position, how will my current job classification be affected?

    Your ranking against the FM competency profiles has no bearing on the classification level of your position. The job profiles simply identify the knowledge, skills and abilities that you need to demonstrate at your level to effectively do your work. The profiles should be viewed as a means to inform your learning and development.

    The specified proficiency levels describe how work should be performed to ensure reasonable success at a job; someone who exceeds at each competency will not become eligible for a level upgrade in their current position. The FM competency-based management system has no automatic promotion component. However, exceeding the required proficiency level is a validation of an employee’s abilities and should signal a candidate’s readiness to participate in competitions to advance his or her career.

    Scoring poorly on a competency assessment will not affect your current job level. The results will help identify areas in which you need to improve and will help you focus your learning plan. Your learning plan will be adjusted and updated, as necessary, to help you meet your target proficiency levels.

  • Does my competency level determine my job level or pay rate?

    No. Your competency level determines only how well you perform in your job. Your job level and pay rate are related to the work description for the position you occupy. However, by improving your competency level you become better prepared to participate in competitions to advance your career.

  • Are there other functional communities using competency-based management?

    Yes. Several functional groups within the federal public service are adopting a competency-based approach to their human resources in order to help employees progress efficiently in their careers.

    The Computer Science (CS) group; the Real Property, Asset Management and Procurement (PG) groups; and the Internal Audit Group (IA) are now using competency-based management.

  • Where can I get further information on competency-based management and associated tools?

    For more information, contact the Financial Management Capacity Building and Community Development of the Office of the Comptroller General, by telephone at 613-946-6242 or Contact Sylvie Seguin by email.

Appendix A: Financial Management FI Competency Profiles and Dictionary

FI Behavioural Competencies

The behavioural competencies can be found in the Financial Officer (FI) Competency Profile web pages.

FI Functional Competencies

The functional competencies can be found in the Financial Officer (FI) Competency Profile web pages.

Appendix B: Generic Job Competency Profiles (FI-01 to FI-04)

Appendix B: Sample Job Competency Profile can be found in the Manager's Guide to Financial Officer Competency-Based Management.

Appendix C: Financial Management Competency-Based Assessment Template

Consult the FI competency profiles and identify the required proficiency level for the job or role you have chosen. Using the STAR formula (see Appendix D), for each competency, provide one or two examples of situations where you demonstrated the behavioural indicators or criteria. Evaluate each situation against the proficiency level for the job or role you have chosen. Section 3 contains detailed instructions.

Figure C1. Competency Profiles

Existing Position:

Target Position:

Competency Required Proficiency Insufficient Basic Proficient Advanced Situational examples
Oral and Written Communications            
Risk Management            
Negotiation/Persuading            
Values and Ethics            
Strategic Thinking – Analysis            
Strategic Thinking – Ideas            
Engagement            
Management Excellence – Action            
Management Excellence – People            
Management Excellence – Finance            
Accounting operations            
Planning and Resource Management            
Financial Policy            
Financial Systems            

Figure C2. Identifying Gaps in Competencies

Gaps That Require Learning Activities
Competency Gap identified Target and Specific Behaviours Comments
Oral and Written Communication      
Risk Management      
Negotiation/Persuading      
Values and Ethics      
Strategic Thinking – Analysis      
Strategic Thinking – Ideas      
Engagement      
Management Excellence – Action      
Management Excellence – Action      
Management Excellence – Finance      
Accounting Operations      
Planning and Resource Management      
Financial Policy      
Financial Systems      

Note: Employees should work on improving a maximum of two or three competencies a year.

Additional Comments

Completed by:

Date:

Appendix D: STAR Formula Template

The STAR formula ("situation," "task," "action" and "result") is a process used to describe real-life work situations in order to demonstrate competency proficiency. A completed example of using the STAR formula can be found on the following page.

STAR Formula

Situation:

Approximate date(s):

Section 1: Situation

(background to the situation: 50 to 100 words)

Set the scene: what is the problem or issue?

Section 2: Task and Action

(what you did, how you did it, and/or your role in the situation: 200 to 400 words)

Indicate what task you were assigned, and explain the action you took.

Section 3: Result

(Outcome of the situation: 50 to 100 words)

What was the outcome of your actions?

Why is this a good example of how you demonstrate this competency?

The following is an example of a behavioural example for the Strategic Thinking – Ideas competency at the FI-02 level using the STAR formula ("situation," "task," "action" and "result").

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