Foundation for 'Geospatial Technology' Competency Model



Tier Name

Tier Block



Personal Effectiveness





Interpersonal Skills

Willingness to Learn

Dependability and Reliability


Academic Competencies





Active Learning

Basic Computer Skills

Science and Technology

Critical and Analytical Thinking

Communication - Listening and Speaking


Workplace Competencies



Customer Focus

Creative Thinking

Business Fundamentals

Planning and Organizing


Scheduling and Coordinating

Workplace Computer Applications

Working with Tools and Technology

Checking, Examining and Recording

Problem Solving and Decision-Making


Tier Name

Block Information

Tier 1  - Personal Effectiveness Competencies

  Interpersonal Skills:

  • Demonstrating concern for others - Shows sincere interest in others and their concerns, and demonstrates sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others; helps others resolve sensitive interpersonal problems as appropriate; looks for ways to help people, and pitches in to help others.
  • Demonstrating insight into behavior - Recognizes and accurately interprets the verbal and nonverbal behavior of others; shows insight into the actions and motives of others, and recognizes when relationships with others are strained.
  • Maintaining open communication - Maintains open lines of communication with others; encourages others to approach him/her with problems and successes; establishes a high degree of trust and credibility with others.
  • Respecting diversity - Demonstrates sensitivity and respect for the opinions, perspectives, customs and individual differences of others; values diversity of people and ideas.
  • Working with diverse people - Is flexible and open-minded when dealing with a wide range of people; listens to and considers others' viewpoints; works well and develops effective relationships with diverse personalities.
  • Learning about other cultures - Takes action to learn about and understand the climate, orientation, needs, and values of other groups, organizations, or cultures.


  • Behaving ethically - Abides by a strict code of ethics and behavior; chooses an ethical course of action and does the right thing, even in the face of opposition; encourages others to behave accordingly.
  • Acting fairly - Treats others with honesty, fairness and respect; makes decisions that are objective and reflect the just treatment of others.
  • Taking responsibility - Takes responsibility for accomplishing work goals within accepted timeframes; accepts responsibility for one's decisions and actions and for those of one's group, team, or department; attempts to learn from mistakes.


  • Demonstrating self-control - Demonstrates self-control by maintaining composure and keeping emotions in check even in very difficult situations; deals calmly and effectively with stressful situations.
  • Professional appearance - Maintains a professional demeanor; dresses appropriately for occupation and its requirements; maintains appropriate personal hygiene;
  • Substance abuse - Is free from substance abuse.
  • Maintains a positive attitude - Projects a professional image of oneself and the organization; demonstrates a positive attitude towards work; takes pride in one's work and the work of the organization.


  • Persisting - Pursues work with energy, drive, and a strong accomplishment orientation; persists and expends extra effort to accomplish tasks even when conditions are difficult or deadlines are tight; persists at a task or problem despite interruptions, obstacles, or setbacks.
  • Taking initiative - Goes beyond the routine demands of the job; takes initiative in seeking out new work challenges and increasing the variety and scope of one's job; seeks opportunities to influence events and originate action; assists others who have less experience or have heavy workloads.
  • Setting challenging goals - Establishes and maintains personally challenging but realistic work goals; exerts effort toward task mastery; brings issues to closure by pushing forward until a resolution is achieved.
  • Working independently - Develops own ways of doing things; is able to perform effectively even with minimal direction, support or approval and without direct supervision.
  • Achievement motivation - Intrinsically driven to succeed and excel; strives to exceed standards and expectations; exhibits confidence in capabilities and an expectation to succeed in future activities.

  Dependability and Reliability:

  • Fulfilling obligations - Behaves consistently and predictably; is reliable, responsible and dependable in fulfilling obligations; diligently follows through on commitments and consistently meets deadlines.
  • Showing up on time - Demonstrates regular and punctual attendance; rarely is late for meetings or appointments.
  • Attending to details - Diligently checks work to ensure that all essential details have been considered; notices errors or inconsistencies that others have missed, and takes prompt, thorough action to correct errors.
  • Complying with policies - Follows written and verbal directions; complies with organizational rules, policies and procedures.

  Willingness to Learn:

  • Demonstrating an interest in learning - Demonstrates an interest in personal learning and development; seeks feedback from multiple sources about how to improve and develop, and modifies behavior based on feedback or self-analysis of past mistakes.
  • Participating in training - Takes steps to develop and maintain knowledge, skills, and expertise necessary to achieve positive results; participates fully in relevant training programs and actively pursues other opportunities to develop knowledge and skills.
  • Anticipating changes in work - Anticipates changes in work demands and searches for and participates in assignments or training that address these changing demands; treats unexpected circumstances as opportunities to learn.
  • Identifying career interests - Takes charge of personal career development by identifying occupational interests, strengths, options and opportunities; makes insightful career planning decisions based on integration and consideration of others' feedback, and seeks out additional training to pursue career goals.

Tier 2  - Academic Competencies


  • Comprehension - Locates, understands and interprets written information in prose and in documents such as manuals, reports, memos, letters, forms, graphs, charts, tables, calendars, schedules, signs, notices, applications and directions; understands the purpose of written materials; attains meaning and comprehends core ideas.
  • Attention to detail - Identifies main ideas; notes details and facts; detects inconsistencies; identifies implied meaning and details; identifies missing information; identifies trends.
  • Integration - Critically evaluates and analyzes information in written materials; integrates and synthesizes information from multiple written materials.
  • Application - Integrates what is learned from written materials with prior knowledge; applies what is learned from written material to follow instructions and complete specific tasks; applies what is learned from written material to future situations.


  • Organization and Development - Creates documents such as letters, directions, manuals, reports, graphs, and flow charts; communicates thoughts, ideas, information, messages and other written information, which may contain technical material, in a logical, organized and coherent manner; ideas are well developed with supporting information and examples.
  • Mechanics - Uses standard syntax and sentence structure; uses correct spelling, punctuation, and capitalization; uses appropriate grammar (e.g., correct tense, subject-verb agreement, no missing words).
  • Tone - Writes in a manner appropriate for business; uses language appropriate for the target audience; uses appropriate tone and word choice (e.g., writing is professional and courteous).


  • Quantification - Reads and writes numbers; counts and places numbers in sequence; recognizes whether one number is larger than another.
  • Computation - Adds, subtracts, multiplies, and divides with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percents; calculates averages, ratios, proportions and rates; converts decimals to fractions; converts fractions to percents.
  • Measurement and estimation - Takes measurements of time, temperature, distances, length, width, height, perimeter, area, volume, weight, velocity, and speed; uses and reports measurements correctly; converts from one measurement to another (e.g., from English to Metric).
  • Application - Performs basic math computations accurately; translates practical problems into useful mathematical expressions and uses appropriate mathematical formulas and techniques.

  Science and Technology:

  • Comprehension - Understands basic scientific principles and to use commonly available technology; understands the scientific method (i.e., identifies problems, collects information, forms opinions and draws conclusions); understands overall intent and proper procedures for set-up and operation of equipment.
  • Application - Applies basic scientific principles and technology to complete tasks.

  Communication - Listening and Speaking:

  • Speaking - Expresses information to individuals or groups taking into account the audience and the nature of the information (e.g., technical or controversial); speaks clearly and confidently; information is organized in a logical manner; speaks using common English conventions including proper grammar, tone and pace; tracks audience responses and reacts appropriately to those responses; effectively uses eye contact and non-verbal expression.
  • Listening - Receives, attends to, interprets, understands, and responds to verbal messages and other cues; picks out important information in verbal messages; understands complex instructions; appreciates feelings and concerns of verbal messages.
  • Two-way communication - Practices meaningful two-way communication (i.e., speaks clearly, pays close attention and seeks to understand others, listens attentively and clarifies information); attends to nonverbal cues and responds appropriately.
  • Persuasion/Influence - Influences others; persuasively presents thoughts and ideas; gains commitment and ensures support for proposed ideas.

  Critical and Analytical Thinking:

  • Reasoning - Possesses sufficient inductive and deductive reasoning ability to perform job successfully; critically reviews, analyzes, synthesizes, compares and interprets information; draws conclusions from relevant and/or missing information; understands the principles underlying the relationship among facts and applies this understanding when solving problems.
  • Mental agility - Identifies connections between issues; quickly understands, orients to, and learns new assignments; shifts gears and changes direction when working on multiple projects or issues.

  Active Learning:

  • Learning strategies - Applies a range of learning techniques to acquire new knowledge and skills; processes and retains information; identifies when it is necessary to acquire new knowledge and skills.
  • Application - Integrates newly learned knowledge and skills with existing knowledge and skills; uses newly learned knowledge and skills to complete specific tasks; uses newly learned knowledge and skills in new or unfamiliar situations.

  Basic Computer Skills:Using a personal computer and related applications to convey and retrieve information

  • Comprehending the basics - Understands and efficiently uses basic computer hardware (e.g. PCs, printers) and software (e.g. word processing software, spreadsheet software) to perform tasks; understands common computer terminology (e.g., program, operating system) and is familiar with the fundamental capabilities of computers.
  • Entering data - Enters data into computer files quickly, with an acceptable degree of accuracy; double checks data entry carefully; notices when data are missing or look wrong and takes steps to ensure computer files are complete and accurate.
  • Preparing documents - Uses word processing programs to create, edit, and retrieve document files; types materials quickly and accurately; checks work carefully and identifies/corrects typographical errors; uses basic reference materials and tools (e.g., spell check) to ensure accuracy.

Tier 3  - Workplace Competencies


  • Acknowledging team membership and role - Accepts membership in the team; shows loyalty to the team; determines when to be a leader and when to be a follower depending on what is needed to achieve the team's goals and objectives; encourages others to express their ideas and opinions; identifies and draws upon team members' strengths and weaknesses to achieve results; learns from other team members.
  • Establishing productive relationships - Develops constructive and cooperative working relationships with others; exhibits tact and diplomacy and strives to build consensus; shows sensitivity to the thoughts and opinions of other team members; delivers constructive criticism and voices objections to others' ideas and opinions in a supportive, non-accusatory manner; responds appropriately to positive and negative feedback.
  • Identifying with the team and its goals - Identifies the goals, norms, values, and customs of the team; is a team player and contributes to the group's effort; uses a group approach to identify problems and develop solutions based on group consensus; effectively communicates with all members of the group or team to achieve team goals and objectives.
  • Resolving conflicts - Brings others together to reconcile differences; handles conflicts maturely by exercising "give and take" to achieve positive results for all parties; reaches formal or informal agreements that promote mutual goals and interests, and obtains commitment to those agreements from individuals or groups.


  • Employing unique analyses - Employs unique analyses and generates new, innovative ideas in complex areas; integrates seemingly unrelated information to develop creative solutions; develops innovative methods of obtaining or using resources when insufficient resources are available.
  • Entertaining new ideas - Is open to considering new ways of doing things; actively seeks out and carefully considers the merits of new approaches to work; willingly embraces new approaches when appropriate and discards approaches that are no longer working.
  • Dealing with ambiguity - Takes effective action when necessary without having to have all the necessary facts in hand; easily changes gears in response to unpredictable or unexpected events, pressures, situations and job demands; effectively changes plans, goals, actions or priorities to deal with changing situations.

  Customer Focus:

  • Understanding customer needs - Demonstrates a desire to understand customer needs; listens to what customers are saying and asks questions as appropriate; demonstrates awareness of client goals.
  • Providing personalized service - Provides prompt, efficient and personalized assistance to meet the requirements, requests, and concerns of customers; provides thorough, accurate information to answer customers questions and inform them of commitment times or performance guarantees; actively looks for ways to help customers by identifying and proposing appropriate solutions and/or services; establishes boundaries as appropriate for unreasonable customer demands.
  • Acting professionally - Is pleasant, courteous and professional when dealing with internal or external customers; develops constructive and cooperative working relationships with customers, and displays a good-natured, cooperative attitude; is calm and empathetic when dealing with hostile customers.
  • Keeping customers informed - Follows up with customers during projects and following project completion; keeps clients up to date about decisions that affect them; seeks the comments, criticisms and involvement of customers; adjusts services based on customer feedback.

  Planning and Organizing:

  • Planning - Approaches work in a methodical manner; plans and schedules tasks so that work is completed on time; keeps track of details to ensure work is performed accurately and completely.
  • Prioritizing - Prioritizes various competing tasks and performs them quickly and efficiently according to their urgency; finds new ways of organizing work area or planning work to accomplish work more efficiently.
  • Allocating resources - Estimates resources needed for project completion; allocates time and resources effectively and coordinates efforts with all affected parties; keeps all parties informed of progress and all relevant changes to project timelines.
  • Anticipating obstacles - Anticipates obstacles to project completion and develops contingency plans to address them; takes necessary corrective action when projects go off-track.

  Creative Thinking:

  • Generating innovative solutions - Uses information, knowledge, and beliefs to generate original, innovative solutions to problems; reframes problems in a different light to find fresh approaches; entertains wide-ranging possibilities others may miss; takes advantage of difficult or unusual situations to develop unique approaches and useful solutions.
  • Seeing the big picture - Has broad knowledge and perspective; pieces together seemingly unrelated data to identify patterns and trends and to see a bigger picture; understands the pieces of a system as a whole and appreciates the consequences of actions on other parts of the system; possesses a big-picture view of the situation.

  Problem Solving and Decision-Making:

  • Identifying the problem - Anticipates or recognizes the existence of a problem; identifies the true nature of the problem by analyzing its component parts; uses all available reference systems to locate and obtain information relevant to the problem; recalls previously learned information that is relevant to the problem.
  • Locating, gathering, and organizing relevant information - Effectively uses both internal resources (e.g., internal computer networks, company filing systems) and external resources (e.g., internet search engines) to locate and gather information; examines information obtained for relevance and completeness; recognizes important gaps in existing information and takes steps to eliminate those gaps; organizes/reorganizes information as appropriate to gain a better understanding of the problem.
  • Generating alternatives - Integrates previously learned and externally obtained information to generate a variety of high-quality alternative approaches to the problem; skillfully uses logic and analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses, the costs and benefits, and the short- and long-term consequences of different approaches.
  • Choosing a solution - Decisively chooses the best solution after contemplating available approaches to the problem; makes difficult decisions even in highly ambiguous or ill-defined situations; quickly chooses an effective solution without assistance when appropriate.
  • Implementing the solution - Commits to a solution in a timely manner, and develops a realistic approach for implementing the chosen solution; observes and evaluates the outcomes of implementing the solution to assess the need for alternative approaches and to identify lessons learned.

  Working with Tools and Technology:

  • Selecting tools - Selects and applies appropriate tools or technological solutions to frequently encountered problems; carefully considers which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, and consistently chooses the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand.
  • Keeping current - Demonstrates an interest in learning about new and emerging tools and technologies; seeks out opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity.
  • Troubleshooting - Learns how to maintain and troubleshoot tools and technologies.

  Scheduling and Coordinating:

  • Arranging - Makes arrangements (e.g. for traveling, meetings) that fulfill all requirements as efficiently and economically as possible; handles all aspects of arrangements thoroughly and completely with little or no supervision.
  • Informing - Responds to the schedules of others affected by arrangements; informs others of arrangements, giving them complete, accurate and timely information; insures that others receive needed materials in time.
  • Verifying - Takes steps to verify all arrangements; recognizes problems, generates effective alternatives, and takes corrective action.
  • Coordinating in distributed environments - Coordinates schedules of colleagues, co-workers, and clients in regional locations (i.e., across time zones) to ensure that inconvenience is minimized and productivity is enhanced; leverages technology (e.g., internet, teleconference) to facilitate information sharing in distributed work environments; takes advantage of team member availability throughout business hours in multiple time zones to enhance productivity.
  • Shiftwork - Effectively coordinates the transition of employees at the beginning and end of each work shift; disseminates crucial information in an organized manner to rapidly bring employees up to speed at the start of their shifts; ensures that employees are updated on work completed on past shifts and work that still needs to be completed.

  Checking, Examining and Recording:

  • Detecting errors - Detects and corrects errors, even under time pressure; notices errors or inconsistencies; forwards or processes forms in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Completing forms - Selects and completes appropriate forms quickly and completely; attends to and follows through on important information in paperwork; expedites forms, orders or advances that require immediate attention.
  • Obtaining information - Obtains appropriate information, signatures and approvals promptly; verifies that all information is present and accurate before forwarding materials.
  • Maintaining logs - Keeps logs, records and files that are up-to-date and readily accessible; updates logs, files and records, noting important changes in status.

  Workplace Computer Applications:

  • Keyboarding and word processing - Skillfully uses word-processing software; streamlines document processing by employing a variety of common software functions; uses correct style and format, even when confronted by uncommon requirements that deviate from standard guides; consults appropriate manuals when uncertain about the correct style and format.
  • Internet applications - Effectively uses the internet and web-based tools to manage basic workplace tasks (e.g., timekeeping, maintaining employee records, conducting information searches); understands and performs internet functions requiring the use of log-in and password information; is aware of company guidelines surrounding internet usage and complies with those guidelines.
  • E-mailing - Composes professional e-mails to communicate business-related information to coworkers, colleagues, and customers; understands the company e-mail system and its basic functions (e.g., replying to/forwarding messages, using electronic address books, attaching files); ensures that key stakeholders are kept informed of communications by copying (i.e., "CCing") them on important e-mails when appropriate.
  • Spreadsheets - Uses spreadsheet software to enter, manipulate, edit and format text and numerical data; effectively creates and saves worksheets, charts, and graphs that are well organized, attractive, and useful.

  Business Fundamentals:

  • Situational awareness - Understands the organization's mission and functions; recognizes one's role in the functioning of the company and understands the potential impact one's own performance can have on the success of the organization; grasps the potential impact of the company's well-being on employees.
  • Business ethics - Demonstrates respect for coworkers, colleagues, and customers; acts in the best interest of the company, the community, and the environment; complies with applicable laws and rules governing work and reports loss, waste, or theft or company property to appropriate personnel.
  • Market knowledge - Understands market trends in the industry and the company's position in the market; knows who the company's primary competitors are, and stays current on organizational strategies to maintain competitiveness.