How to use the Core Competency Framework The document contains extensive research and expertise and might on first approach appear daunting. Unpacking the information and understanding how to apply it is of course key to its value. We recommend that you approach the document in sections as and when you need them.
o The first 10 pages give you some detail about the context and how to use the document. o The following 26 pages provide you with in depth descriptions of each of the values and behaviours; these are followed by 3 pages of suggested company structures and notes on the generic roles.
o Finally the appendix contains useful generic role descriptions, which can form job descriptions should you need a reference point.
Consortium for Participatory Arts Learning 2011
So here are some practical ways you might use it… People Managers Organisational Director/Management Use the generic roles and structure as a template for organisational and role design.
Use the competencies for: • performance appraisal and development or make decisions regarding promotion.
Use the competencies to: • design and deliver recruitment and selection activity • evaluate organisational performance or programme effectiveness • set organisational goals • promote professional excellence.
Project Managers Use the competencies to: • set project goals and to evaluate outcome.
External Partners and Funders Use the competencies: as a benchmark to help make evaluative judgments across the sector. to prove “value” for the money and time invested in a project or organisation.
All Creative Practitioners Use the competencies: • for reflective practice • to review your own performance or that of your team • to gain more insight into your own personal strengths and weaknesses.
Everyone Use the role descriptions and the competencies to: create personal development plans for CPD and to demonstrate your own capability and development ▪ communicate in a common language with your colleagues across the sector. Fundraisers Use the competencies to: • inform descriptions of proposed methodology and outcomes.
Consortium for Participatory Arts Learning 2011
Case Study One: Your Prescap Ben Hunt, Chief Executive 1. What's the name and nature of your organisation, in a nutshell? Your Prescap, is an arts based community development company, that exists to advance the education of the public primarily, but not exclusively, across the North West of England in the appreciation and practice of the arts. The charity's vision is to be the creative centre of a thriving society in Lancashire and beyond. To achieve this, Your Prescap designs and delivers opportunities for everyone to realise their potential through arts and media. 2. What did you need to use the framework for? We have used the framework in a variety of ways – for recruitment, assessment of artists, appraisal and developing training for artists. In all of these areas we felt it would be good practice to use the framework agreed with our peers to start to establish the competencies of the sector. Consortium for Participatory Arts Learning 2011
3. How did you choose to approach the framework? With care! At first it was large and frightening. So we stopped and rethought:
“What was it we needed from the role/person, and then what was the competency in that area.“
The framework is extensive, which is good, but we realised you can’t write a job description which encompasses everything – so what does the role require in those areas, at which level and what should we expect from them, based on the framework – using the generic role profiles here will help. Interestingly though, we obviously have a good idea already, so in some senses it seems like it’s obvious, the framework is there to provide a common language for the sector in terms of role competency. We often know it already, so it works as a checkpoint and reference and in that role it starts to really work!
4. How useful was it for you? How useful is it, do you mean? At first it was a bit of a bind, trying to match all those competencies but that’s not the way to use it. Since realising this it actually became quite a dynamic document, it can be used in a variety of ways: discussing with partners what they can expect from people involved, thinking about what kind of person will fit the task when planning a project or new role and thinking about CPD-‐ how can this person go further, what more could they do? That doesn’t mean to say we do that all the time, so as a reference to come back to is really good as well. If something has been planned, we may go back and check the competencies, (the wheel is useful for this) are we in the right area? Bingo!! And that’s back to the last point above (3), if it’s right, then to some extent we should already have that in us and we do. But that seems to suggest we don’t need it, which we do. The ultimate use
for it, for us, is that it’s used as a reference point, checking your standards and uniting it – if I’m in the right area, then I’ve judged this right, and that is very powerful really.
5. What were the key areas of most use to you and your organisation? Its not so much the areas/competencies that are key, but the sections within them – for example in Creative Practice the elements around innovation and being resourceful are easy to identify and discuss, but inspiring others less so, and if the former are strong then the inspiration may follow. And there are similar sections in the others that are harder to quantify and so concentrating on those that are, makes it easier. In general though, and going back to the point that using it to back up decisions, finding it most useful to double check areas and ideas. The role profiles were well used initially, as a starting point and guide. For example we needed to develop a job description for someone to manage and deliver projects. The CCF reminds me that I want someone who can follow policy, is resourceful, has good judgement, can manage expectation, develop ownership, work collaboratively etc and to the appropriate level. That means in the person specification I need to ask for appropriate experience and knowledge in those areas, which we then test in the application and interview. Consortium for Participatory Arts Learning 2011
6. What aspects have you not used? Some areas weren’t used as much, to be honest the latter part of the framework. The thinking sections, although still used, are quite abstract, and in some senses covered in other areas. So that part tends to be used to check, usually after seeing a heading and thinking, “yes I do need to include that.” Again as an example, analysing and evaluating is important, but to some extent that’s covered in reflecting and attention to detail. So in that sense, how many more competencies can I impose on someone? However they are important, so checking back on what is said there is useful. 7. How are you using it now? In the ways described in point 3. We are about to do some role reviews and it will be very important for that. We are appraising staff currently, which again helps guide us. We’re also recruiting and reviewing freelance artists. It is very important in terms of having a set standard across the sector, with regards to expectations and fee. Some artists were downgraded as we realised they weren’t of the standard we would expect in certain roles. We also
trained some up, so a good place to start, for the training was by assessing what sort of outcomes we want to see i.e bringing out the right competencies. 8. In what ways are you hoping to use the framework in the future of your organisation? We are finishing a business plan and we are planning to develop standards and training for artists, which this will influence. We are planning to work with Curious Minds, the Pan Lancashire Arts Network and EMPAF to develop standards of practice and believe this should be very much in there. When working with outside organisations, NHS, Universities, local authorities and businesses having this framework is very useful – it shows that the arts sector is efficient and professional.
Case Study Two: TiPP Simon Ruding, Artistic Director 1. What's the name and nature of your organisation, in a nutshell? TiPP (The Theatre in Prisons and Probation Centre). Our mission is to work through the arts with offenders and related communities to stimulate growth and change through participatory arts projects and to undertake training for artists and Criminal Justice professionals. We have four main client groups: offenders; young people at risk of (re) offending; staff who work with these groups; arts practitioners already working or wishing to develop work with these groups. We develop projects to improve the lives and life chances of adults and young people; facilitate lasting personal development; provide the means for individuals to gain more control and improve the quality of their lives; enable individuals to challenge and control their own behaviours. We also strive to improve standards and the professional standing of arts practitioners working in the CJS. Consortium for Participatory Arts Learning 2011
2. What did you need to use the framework for? We felt that the sector desperately needed to have a shared approach and language, which we can use to describe our practice. We believe strongly that we need to professionalise the sector and develop some form of quality assurance approach that was consistent and developed by the sector, for the sector. Because we have strong links with HE, we also wanted to be able to more effectively influence teaching and vocational training, using a model that could influence the development and refinement of new and existing courses. We also needed to review our job descriptions and make them more fit for purpose, working within a clear structure, with clear progression routes. This in turn was important for a revamped appraisal system, pay structure and professional development plan.
3. How did you choose to approach the framework? The easiest “way in” to the framework is via the role descriptors and the concept of operational levels of competency. They have assisted us greatly in the structuring of pay-‐scales and progression routes for staff and volunteers. 4. How useful was it for you? Invaluable. It has saved a considerable amount of time and provided us with a form of words that helps us objectively define and identify good practice. The fact that it was values led was of critical importance to us – it helps emphasise the need for a mindset underpinning good participatory practice. It is not about ticking boxes, it is about identifying excellence. Initially it was used to review job descriptions and inform appraisal processes. We have now adapted sections of it for use within our formal teaching courses (for University of Manchester and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) as it provides clear, objective criteria for skills
assessment. We also undertook an exercise mapping the framework over to the Youth Justice Competencies framework, which enabled us to identify what skills bases we were taking into our work within youth justice that complimented or differed from that of youth justice professionals. It is currently acting as the benchmark for job descriptions for new job roles created as a result of an imminent company restructure. In addition, aspects of it have been adapted into a project appraisal / quality assurance system. 5. What were the key areas of most use to you and your organisation? The role descriptors and the level definitions. 6. What aspects have you not used? None – all have been applied in some way. 7. How are you using it now? It is significantly influencing our current restructuring, informing the development of the company structure/hierarchy and the development of job descriptions.
Consortium for Participatory Arts Learning 2011
8. In what ways are you hoping to use the framework in the future of your organisation? See above.