Using a competency framework or model:

  • Aids in planning as we can identify areas requiring focus and choose appropriate activities.
  • Helps us to set developmental targets.
  • Provides us with appropriate language to describe our learning and to classify our CPD.
  • Reminds us of the scope of our professional responsibilities, and importantly can be used to show others, including employers and other stakeholders
  • Can be used in performance reviews and is essential for career progression as most job interviews are competency-based.
  • Are useful for accreditation applications through the Library Association of Ireland or CILIP.

There are a number of existing frameworks. Each has positive points.

MLA competencies ALIA HLA competencies PKSB for health –  [CILIP members] Common library associations competencies (Lawton & Burns 2015)
1. Information services 2. Reference and research services 03 Information exploitation and use
06 Knowledge management
2. Systematic review

3. Critical appraisal

2. Information management 3. Resources

5. Digital, ehealth and technology


01 Collection management and development
02 Data management
04 Information governance and compliance
05 Information management
08 Records management and archiving
13 Technology (and communication)
5. Manage and organise health information

7. Legal

9. Technology


3. Instruction & instructional design 6. Health literacy and teaching 07 Literacies and learning 6.Training and education
4. Leadership & management

6. Health information professionalism


4. Leadership and management

8. Professionalism


10 Customer focus, service design and marketing
11 Leadership, advocacy, influencing and personal effectiveness
12 Strategy, planning and management
13 (Technology and) Communication
1. Communication

4. Management and organisational skills

8. Leadership


5. Evidence-based practice & research 7. Health research
1. The health environment
09 Research 10. Understand healthcare environment
Other examples
ALA competencies (2023) SLA competencies (2016) PKSB [CILIP members] NASIG  – Electronic Resources Librarians
1.Gateway Knowledge 1: Information and Knowledge Services 01 Collection management and development 1. Life cycle of electronic resources
2.Information Resources 2: Information and Knowledge Systems and Technology 02 Data management 2. Technology
3.Lifelong Learning and Continuing Education 3: Information and Knowledge Resources 03 Information exploitation and use


3. Research and assessment
4.Management and Administration 4: Information and Data Retrieval and Analysis 04 Information governance and compliance 4. Effective communication
5.Organization of Recorded Knowledge and Information 5: Organization of Data, Information, and Knowledge Assets 05 Information management 5. Supervising and Management
6.Reference and User Services 6: Information Ethics 06 Knowledge management 6. Trends and Professional Development
7.Research and Evidence-Based Practice 07 Literacies and learning
8.Social Justice 08 Records management and archiving
9.Technological Knowledge and Skills 09 Research
Enabling competencies:
• Critical thinking, including qualitative and quantitative reasoning;
• Initiative, adaptability, flexibility, creativity, innovation, and problem solving;
• Effective oral and written communication, including influencing skills;
• Relationship building, networking, and collaboration, including the ability to foster respect, inclusion, and communication among diverse individuals;
• Marketing;
• Leadership, management, and project management;
• Life-long learning;
• Instructional design and development, teaching, and mentoring;
• Business ethics.
10 Customer focus, service design and marketing

11 Leadership, advocacy, influencing and personal effectiveness

12 Strategy, planning and management

13 (Technology and) Communication

7. Personal Qualities:

· Flexibility, open-mindedness and the ability to function in a dynamic, rapidly changing environment

· A high level of tolerance for complexity and ambiguity

· Provides excellent customer service to a diverse population of users through a variety of communication methods

· Skillful time management.

IFLA Code of Ethics for Librarians and other Information Workers (full version)

IFLA LIS Foundational Knowledge Areas (FKAs) Model (2022)

1. Information in society
2. Foundations of LIS profession
3. Information and communication technologies
4. Research and innovation
5. Information resources management
6. Management for information professionals
7. Information needs and user services
8. Literacies and learning
Competency Description Examples
1.    Information in society and health care Activities relating to the interactive and influencing nature of information. · The health environment
· Impact of information institutions, systems, processes and tools on society
· Impact of the economy, culture, law, globalisation, technology, and politics on information
2.    Foundations of LIS profession Activities relating to values and ethics of our professionalism and work. · equity, diversity, inclusion
· service-orientation
· social responsibility
· sustainability
· education, and lifelong learning
· accessibility – access to information, including open access
· intellectual freedom
· responsible stewardship of data, information, knowledge and technology.
3.    Information and communication technologies Activities relating to the technology that underpins information and communication. · the implementation of information systems
· the information lifecycle
· personal information access and use, and user services
· technology standards, models, approaches, requirements and solutions for data capture, storage, management, processing, presentation, publishing, discovery, access, and use
· utilising, adapting, innovating, designing, applying, and maintaining existing hardware and software solutions
4.    Research and innovation Activities relating to innovation, research or evaluation. · benchmarking, determining impact, and obtaining data for diagnostics or feedback to interrogate, improve or refine services and products
· theoretical frameworks, design, methods, research ethics, data analysis and presentation, and dissemination of research findings
· problem-oriented research and understanding for professional practice in diverse information settings
· enabling librarians to identify, collate, catalogue, retrieve, evaluate, and disseminate research produced by others
· Innovation related to the application of knowledge or ideas for the development and critical interrogation of information products, services, or processes
· interdisciplinary research and innovations
5.    Information resources management Activities relating to information resources and services. · acquisition, identification, description, organisation, discoverability, and preservation of information resources
· knowledge and understanding of the nature of information resources, information discovery and retrieval, user needs and information seeking behaviour
· the principles of information organisation and interoperability, functional requirements for information resource organisation, exchange and presentation standards, procedures, and tools
· the principles of collection management including acquisition (and related copyright and intellectual property rights aspects), curation, digitisation, preservation, disposal, and usage analysis
· enabling the librarian to create quality resource discovery metadata; adopt, adapt, plan, design, develop, and/or implement an information system, tools, standards, and information resource discovery services
· enabling the librarian to plan and manage collection storage; evaluate collection and information quality according to information contexts and user needs
· enabling the librarian to increase visibility and promote collections and collection-based products and services
6.    Management for information professionals Activities relating to managing staff or service projects and services. · Understanding management and organisational theories, concepts, principles, policies, and practices contribute to the effective management of and in an information organisation
· Skills including: leadership and management; decision-making, planning, implementation and evaluation; accountability, trust and delegation; systems thinking; knowledge management; economics; legislation and policies; advocacy, marketing and public relations; communication; customer service; negotiations and mediation; financial management; human resource management, team building; facilities management; information technology management; project management; strategic planning; risk management; quality control; future trends, change management and innovation; organisational culture; ethics and confidentiality
7.    Information needs and user services Activities relating to managing user needs. · understanding of the conscious and unconscious needs of users and the full range of their information behaviour (including EDIA issues)
· Evidence-based, user-centred designs to meet information needs involving factors such as innovation, equity, and cost-effectiveness
· engagement with user communities, design and provision of services to all
· assessment of user contexts and gaps in services
· assessment of the outcomes and impacts of user services
8.    Literacies and learning Activities relating to training and learning. · critical thinking and a full range of literacy modalities and capabilities including information, media, data, visual, and digital literacies
· pedagogical knowledge and skills to support independent, informal, and formal learning, whether face-to-face or using other media
· designing learning materials, assessment, educational technology, instructional design, lesson planning, online instruction, pedagogical and learning theory, and teaching methods
· enabling the librarian to design, organise and deliver learning activities for various communities of users

Civil Service Competency Model