The Competency Framework

The Competency Framework

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The Competency framework provides a structure that organises and defines the competencies in terms of attitudes, skills and knowledge required of a HR practitioner to excel and achieve performance excellence. An HR practitioner needs to be equipped with the right set of capabilities to contribute to achieving business goals. The following outlines the competencies for HR professionals in Singapore.

Core Attributes

The core attributes define the fundamental traits, such as the ability to communicate and influence as well as the ability to tolerate ambiguity and stress, which an HR professional must possess in order to perform his / her role in the organisation.

Strategic Business Partner

This competency defines the skills that enable an HR professional to play a strategic role to support businesses in achieving the objectives. He / she possesses business acumen and holds a strategic business perspective.

Managerial & People Management

This competency defines the traits and capabilities that an HR professional is equipped with, to manage people / staff and operate within teams. The areas of people management include coaching, consulting and performance evaluation.

Functional / Technical

HR professionals play a critical role to support businesses in achieving objectives by ensuring sound and relevant HR policies, practices and advice. These competencies define specialised functional and technical traits and capabilities, that various HR roles need to possess.

In 2014, a review done by the HR Accreditation Board – that comprises senior practitioners from various industries and sectors – took into consideration the competencies reflected in the Workforce Development Agency’s (WDA) HR Work Skill Qualification (WSQ) Framework. These competencies were classified into their respective levels, and mapped into the HR Accreditation Framework to refresh and keep the framework relevant to today’s HR landscape.

The competencies are further categorised into 3 levels to ascertain the competency level of a HR professional. These are:


  • Equips with a good knowledge of HR areas (such as IR, Recruitment, Compensation, etc.) and their application in organisations
  • Describes the main elements of HR area(s)
  • Applies basic skills in these HR area(s) under direction


  1. Translates guidelines of a wide HR policy into a working, operational plan
  2. Applies HR expertise in one or more areas in a given situation
  3. Executes operational plans and delivers results for the business, within the specified parameters of law, policy and practice
  4. Feedback to the management on lessons learnt and improvements required


  1. Evaluates and resolves significant issues on a large scale
  2. Absorbs, translates and develops new approaches for HR issues management
  3. Guides and leads teams and organisations towards conclusive decisions on HR issues
  4. Provide leadership on HR issues and encourages proactive HR management in an organisation

Competencies for the specialist tracks are only assessed based on intermediate and advance levels.

For a more detailed definition and performance criteria of specific competency level, please email or