Department of Labor Plans to Add Engineering to Industry Competency Models; Seeks Member Review

March 5, 2015

As part of its Employment and Training Administration’s Industry Competency Initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor is developing an engineering competency model that will join numerous other industry models in the USDOL’s effort to promote an understanding of the skill sets and competencies that are essential to educate and train a globally competitive workforce.

The USDOL defines a competency as “the capability to apply or use a set of related knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform ‘critical work functions’ or tasks in a defined work setting.”  The competency model is a “collection of multiple competencies that together define successful performance” in a particular industry. 

For the engineering profession, this translates to an engineering competency model that builds a broader understanding of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by all engineers, regardless of their specific discipline.  Once completed, the model will provide employees, prospective employees, workforce training providers, educators and others a clear understanding of how best to enter, advance, and succeed in the industry.  The model can also serve as a resource for the development of curriculum, certifications and activities related to continuing education required to maintain competence.

The USDOL is working in conjunction with the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES), of which ASCE is a member and the secretariat, to develop this Engineering Competency Model.  Subject Matter Experts from AAES member societies, including ASCE, have been working for several months with the USDOL on a draft of the proposed model. 

As part of this collaborative effort, USDOL and AAES have invited the engineering community to participate in a survey to provide critical input on this draft engineering competency model.  The results will be collated and used to refine the draft model.  

You are encouraged to participate in the online survey, which runs through March 15, 2015.   It should take about 25 minutes to complete. 

The draft Engineering Competency Model is scheduled for completion in early summer 2015, at which time broader industry approval will be sought with a goal to publish it in final form on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Competency Model Clearinghouse in the fall of 2015. 

Click here to learn more, view the January 2015 draft of the engineering competency model, and see an archived webinar on the model.

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