Competency Model Clearinghouse

U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA)

The Competency Model Clearinghouse resource can be used to develop curriculum, assessments, and instruction aligned with skills, abilities, and knowledge required in different occupations.

What This Includes

Skills addressed: Interpersonal, Integrity, Professionalism, Initiative, Dependability & Reliability, Adaptability & Flexibility, Lifelong Learning, Communication, Critical & Analytical Thinking


  • Downloadable competency models for key industry sectors, such as energy and utilities, construction, health care, and manufacturing
  • Models in Action provides access to articles about how educators, businesses, and workforce development partners are using competency models
  • Interactive build-a-model online tool
  • In addition to outlining competencies required for specific occupations and industry sectors, the model includes tiers for personal effectiveness and workplace competencies


  • User guides for developing or applying the competency models to education, training, and workforce development
  • Guidelines for including customized models on the Clearinghouse website
  • Informational materials about the competency model and the Competency Model Clearinghouse, including a video series, a speaker’s guide PowerPoint, an infographic, and a handout
  • Customizing Competency Models Through Convening Guide

Key Takeaways

  • The Competency Model uses a building blocks model with three foundational competency tiers at the base, followed by two industry-specific competency tiers, and a top tier that is occupation-specific. Personal and workplace success skill competencies are found throughout the tiers, but especially in the foundational competency tiers.
  •  Educators can use the models for contextualizing instruction aligned with specific industry occupations and identifying personal and workplace success skill competencies to teach.
  • Workforce development organizations can use the competency models to identify area workforce training skill gaps and develop resources for career exploration and guidance.
  • Regional partnerships can use the Customizing Competency Models Through Convening Guide to build a competency model specific to their region.
  • Businesses can use the models to create job postings and job descriptions, develop career paths, and aid in recruitment, assessment, and training.
  • Industries can use the model to develop industry-defined performance indicators, skill standards, and certifications with stackable credentials across industries so workers can build or expand credentials.

The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration (ETA) and industry partners formed the Industry Competency Model Initiative. They collaborated on the Competency Model Clearinghouse website to provide the workforce development system with resources and tools to understand, develop, and use competency models. The competency models are designed to be dynamic, responding to changes in workforce needs over time. The ETA updated the building blocks model in 2014 to be sure it reflected the current foundational knowledge and skills needed by the workforce. Developers incorporated competencies from the Department of Education’s Employability Skills Framework and the National Network of Business and Industry Association’s Common Employability Skills. In 2017, they revised the model again to include foundational workplace health and safety skills found in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Heath’s Safe.Skilled.Ready Workforce Program.

Adaptability & Flexibility


Critical & Creative Thinking

Digital Literacy

Emotional Intelligence

Leadership & Initiative

Navigating & Using Information

Respecting Differences


Teamwork & Collaboration

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