Compare Competency Dictionaries

If you want to build competency models and include competencies in your HR applications, you will need to choose a method to use in building the models. Whatever method you choose, it will be much easier and faster if you can draw on a list of specific competencies to include in each model. These lists are also known as competency dictionaries.

Last year, this post “Build or Buy a Competency Dictionary?” compared competency dictionaries and detailed options for acquiring a competency dictionary that can be used for developing a competency “framework”, competency models, and applications for talent management. Three options, including advantages and disadvantages for each, were described.

1) Develop your own competency dictionary

2) Purchase a competency dictionary

3) Purchase the Workitect competency dictionary.

In this post, a comparison between Workitect’s customizable dictionary/library and those available from other consulting firms is captured in the chart above.


M– Most Dictionaries
W– Workitect Dictionary

Flexibility Wins!                     

M- Low – difficult & expensive to modify/customize.
W- High degree – easy to edit & tailor. Integrate into any HR application or HRIS.

Build Generic or Custom Competency Models?      

M- Generic competency models. Developed through external research& surveys.
W- Custom competency models*. Describing superior performance in your organization.

Employee Acceptance – Are the Competencies Simple & Practical?                               

M- Low – difficult to understand & use; “not relevant to my job”.
W- High buy-in. “These competencies describe my world and will help my career growth”.

Executives’ View – Is the Focus on Business Outcomes?

M- Seen as HR program, not impacting our business performance.
W- “Accurately describes competencies that drive performance in our business and unique culture”.


M- High – Avg. $60,000 plus annual renewal fee
W- Low – Avg. $5,000, 1-time fee, no renewal fees

*Based on the job competence assessment methodology developed in the 1970s by Dr. David McClelland and consultants at McBer & Company.

Organizations Using the Workitect Competency Dictionary

These organizations are a few of the users of the Workitect Dictionary, Competency Interview Guides, or Competency Development Guide. These materials are also available as an integrated “bundle” with a focus on improving an organization’s ability to attract, develop, and retain talent.


More from Workitect

  • Instructional programs on how use the dictionary to build models.
  • Consulting to build competency models for you or with you.
  • Consulting and instruction on how to create your own technical competencies dictionary

Integrated components available (for each competency in our Dictionary)

  • Interview guides
  • Development guides (print and online)
  • 360 feedback instruments

GOOD UNTIL MAY 1, 2019                                                                                                 

Dictionary license includes a set of:

  • Competency Interview Guides
  • Competency Development Guides

For additional information, including costs, please contact us at 800-870-9490 or

Workitect is the leading developer of job competency models and competency-based human resource applications, tools, and programs.

You are invited to join our

Competency-Based Talent Management

LinkedIn group.

2019-04-08T19:22:19+00:00March 26th, 2019|Competencies|0 Comments

About the Author:

Ed is President of Workitect, Inc. and has over forty years of experience helping companies effectively utilize their organizational and human resources. His experience includes senior consultant roles with Achieve Global and Hay/McBer. Workitect is the leader in competency-modeling and competency-based talent management.

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