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P-202 Co-creating our core competencies
  1. Sarah Ireland
  1. St Margaret’s Hospice, Somerset, UK


Aims To develop a core competencies framework building on our values, review the organisational appraisal process and start defining career pathways. To use the framework as the basis for a different approach to performance and recruitment.

Methods The principles framing the project were: What is the business need? How does the process support our value proposition? How does this process recognise high performance, improve retention and support potential talent?

The critical incident technique used consisted of a set of procedures for collecting direct observations of human behaviour in such a way as to facilitate their potential usefulness in solving practical problems, and developing broad psychological principles. The working group collected, reviewed and analysed more than 100 pieces of data; developed behavioural indicators based on the data, and then sense-checked the results with staff across the hospice. The working group included representatives from all departments of the hospice. Pilots were used to test the initial framework in interviews, performance conversations and appraisals.

Results The core competency framework was co-created between December 2019 and March 2020, signed off and implementation started on 1 April 2020 and created a behavioural baseline. A test, learn, adapt approach increased ownership. All staff have been introduced to the framework through live webinars enabling active engagement. Staff are using the new adaptive approach to performance after a period of testing. Core competencies are used in job adverts, job descriptions and appraisals. A bank of resources was created to support implementation including live webinars, leaflets and a self-assessment tool.

Conclusion There is a clear ownership by staff created by the inclusive process and an understanding of how core competencies can be used. Their feedback supports this:

  • Encourages honesty and openness.

  • Gives a focus to performance reviews.

  • Relevant for all staff.

  • Communicates expectations with respect to values and behaviours.

  • Enables people to feel comfortable with what’s expected of them.

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