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Competency Overview


Welcome to the Competency section of the Employee Development Center.  I’m Rich Poling from the Extension Program and Staff Development Department.

The Extension Service is a complex organization and with lots of knowledge areas and skills needed to do Extension work.  We don’t expect a new employee to come into Extension with all of the knowledge and skills needed for his or her job. That’s why we’ve created the Employee Development Center to help folks improve in the competencies related to their jobs

The term “competency” refers to having a certain level of knowledge about or skill in doing something.  “Core competencies” is the basic set of knowledge and skills necessary for someone to have in order to do his or her specific job assignment effectively.

In Extension, we have many different jobs that require different competencies.   To get an idea of what these competencies are, let’s look at the “Extension Core Competency Wheel.”  

Imagine that the hub of the competency wheel represents an Extension employee. The six sections coming out from the hub are the major competency categories.  Each category is further divided into more specific sub-competencies. Keep in mind that different employees will need different sets of core competencies, depending on their particular positions.

To help identify your knowledge and skill levels in the competencies associated with your job, click the “Assessment” tab on the Employee Development Website. There, you’ll find a self-assessment tool to help you identify the competencies you need to develop.  You might want to share your assessment with your supervisor so you can agree on which ones might be priorities for you. 

Then, go to the appropriate competency page on the Employee Development Center to find out what classes, online courses and other resources are available.  These lists of courses and resources will continue to grow and be updated, so check back often.

Our Core Competency Wheel helps all of Extension recognize and value the knowledge and skills we bring to our jobs every day.  Use it as a guide to help you identify which competencies you already have and those you want to develop.

As always, please send questions or suggestions to me or send an e-mail to:

Let the Competency Wheel help you on your journey to be the best that you can be!