ATD Competency Model

Area of Expertise Category:  Performance Improvement (formerly Human Performance Improvement)

Apply a systematic process for analyzing human performance gaps and for closing them.

Key action items include:

  • Identify the customer
  • Conduct performance analysis
  • Conduct cause analysis
  • Analyze systems
  • Gather data
  • Incorporate customer and stakeholder needs
  • Select solutions
  • Manage and implement projects
  • Build and sustain relationships
  • Evaluate results against organizational goals
  • Monitor change

Area of Expertise Category: Instructional Design (formerly Designing Learning)

Design and develop informal and formal learning solutions using a variety of methods. 

Key action items include:

  • Conduct a needs assessment
  • Identify appropriate learning approach
  • Apply learning theory
  • Collaborate with others
  • Design a curriculum, program, or learning solution
  • Design instructional material
  • Analyze and select technologies
  • Integrate technology options
  • Develop instructional materials
  • Evaluate learning design

Area of Expertise Category: Training Delivery (formerly Delivering Training)

Deliver informal and formal learning solutions in a manner that is both engaging and effective.

Key action items include:

  • Manage the learning environment
  • Prepare for training delivery
  • Convey objectives
  • Align learning solutions with course objectives and learner needs
  • Establish credibility as an instructor
  • Create a positive learning climate
  • Deliver various learning methodologies
  • Facilitate learning
  • Encourage participation and build learner motivation
  • Deliver constructive feedback
  • Ensures learning outcomes
  • Evaluate solutions

Area of Expertise Category: Learning Technologies (new AOE for ATD Competency Model)

Apply a variety of learning technologies to address specific learning needs.

Key action items include:

  • Use technology effectively across the different areas of expertise
  • Identify when and how to use technology as a training and development solution
  • Area of Expertise Category: Evaluating Learning Impact (formerly Measuring and Evaluating)
  • Use learning metrics and analytics to measure the impact of learning solutions.
  • Key action items include:
  • Identify customer expectations
  • Select appropriate strategies, research design, and measures
  • Communicate and gain support for the evaluation plan
  • Manage data collection
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Apply learning analytics
  • Make recommendations to aid decision making

Area of Expertise Category: Managing Learning Programs (formerly Managing the Learning Function)

Provide leadership to execute the organization’s people strategy; implements training projects and activities.

Key action items include:

  • Establish a vision
  • Establish strategies
  • Implement action plans
  • Develop and monitor the budget
  • Manage staff
  • Model leadership in developing people
  • Manage others
  • Manage and implement projects
  • Manage external resources
  • Ensure compliance with legal, ethical, and regulatory requirements

Area of Expertise Category: Integrated Talent Management (formerly Career Planning & Talent Management)

Build an organization’s culture, capability, capacity, and engagement through people development strategies

Key action items include:

  • Align talent management to organizational objectives
  • Use talent management systems
  • Equip managers to develop their people
  • Organize delivery of developmental resources
  • Promote high-performance workplaces
  • Coordinate workforce and succession planning
  • Facilitate the career development planning process
  • Facilitate career transitions
  • Support engagement and retention efforts
  • Implement individual and organizational assessments
  • Use talent management analytics to show results and impact

Area of Expertise Category: Coaching (updated for ATD Competency Model)

Apply a systematic process to improve others’ ability to set goals, take action, and maximize strengths.

Key action items include:

  • Establish coaching agreement
  • Establish trust and intimacy with the client
  • Display coaching presence
  • Demonstrate active listening
  • Ask powerful questions
  • Use direct communication
  • Create awareness
  • Design learning opportunities
  • Develops goals and plans
  • Manage progress and accountability
  • Meet ethical guidelines and professional standards

Area of Expertise Category: Knowledge Management (formerly Managing Organizational Knowledge)

Capture, distribute, and archive intellectual capital to encourage knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

Key action items include:

  • Advocate knowledge management
  • Benchmark knowledge management best practices and lessons learned
  • Encourage collaboration
  • Facilitate social learning
  • Establish a knowledge culture
  • Support the development of a knowledge management infrastructure
  • Leverage technology
  • Manage information life cycle
  • Design and implement knowledge management solutions
  • Transform knowledge into learning
  • Evaluate knowledge management success

Area of Expertise Category: Change Management (formerly Facilitating Organizational Change)

Apply a systematic process to shift individuals, teams, and organizations from current state to desired state.

Key action items include:

  • Establish sponsorship & ownership for change
  • Build involvement
  • Create a contract for change
  • Conduct diagnostic assessments
  • Provide feedback
  • Facilitate strategic planning for change
  • Support the change intervention
  • Encourage integration of change into organizational culture
  • Management consequences
  • Evaluate change results


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