SPE Competency Management Tool (CMT) Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the SPE Competency Management Tool?
The SPE Competency Management Tool is available to its members to help them manage their professional and technical development, and in the process, help the industry deal with the impact of “Crew Change” by accelerating competency development.

What does the CMT do?
The CMT is quite versatile in that it not only offers the capability to perform a self-assessment, but also: a) defines the gaps relative to a job description in the model, b) identifies learning resources to bridge the gaps, and c) provides the user with a flexibility to develop and track a self-paced learning plan.

How was the tool developed?
The tool was built over a number of years by pooling rich and diverse experiences of many people working in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. The system upon which the tool is built is used by many companies in different parts of the world.

Are my results kept confidential?
Yes, your personal results will not be shared with anyone. Only the SPE Administrator has access to assessments and that is only to monitor the system over time looking for ways to improve the tool and the user experience. Aggregate data is shared with SPE’s Global Training Committee periodically to assess value and benefit of the tool.

Should I expect my assessment results to show skill and knowledge “gaps”?
Most users of the tool will discover that they have ‘gaps’ when they go to Step 2 in the tool, regardless of their job or the years of experience in the job. This may be concerning to some people, especially those who have many years of experience in their job. However, a gap in an assessment does not mean that the users are not good at their job, nor does it mean that the tool has failed. To understand why the tool may show a gap, please refer to the question and answer provided below.

Why might I have a “gap”?
All the jobs in the CMT have been defined very broadly, covering as many aspects of the role as the designers thought the job should appropriately cover. A few key soft skills and skills related to business acumen were also included in the job models in the CMT to improve analytical skills and communication. Based on the above information the users should be able to readily see that if they were to superimpose their own job description on the job description included in the CMT for their role, it would not align perfectly. To the extent that the user is doing only a part of the role defined in the CMT, the remainder that they are not doing, will show as a gap. There may in fact be gaps even if the roles match exactly, if there are deficiencies in user’s skills. The gap can also manifest if the user has skills deficiencies in petrotechnical skills, soft skills, and business acumen skills included in the CMT job models.

What criteria should I use to decide whether to check off an assessment statement?
Ask yourself, “Do I have the skill and knowledge necessary to do this task?”

Can I assess myself against more than one job description?
Yes, you can assess yourself as many times as you like. You do not have to complete an assessment to start a new one, but if you do not submit a current assessment and start a new one, you will lose the current one. If you complete and submit an assessment and then start a new one, the last assessment will go into your assessment history report, which provides details of all the assessments you have completed.

How do you know the job level requirements (JLRs) were set accurately?
The JLRs were initially proposed by an experienced competency specialist and then reviewed and vetted by panels of subject matter experts with extensive industry experience.

Will I see my assessment results immediately?
Yes, your results ­– showing your assessment scores versus the job level requirement – will be available immediately after you press the “Submit” button.

What types of training are available and how will it be undertaken?
Learning plans will refer users to SPE training resources, along with resources offered by sister organizations, such as the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), and also to generic course titles reflecting those offered by third-party course providers. The learning plan also may identify other resources such as SPE technical papers, books or other resources. In developing a learning plan, the user will be able to prioritize the competency gaps, select the most appropriate learning resources for each gap that they choose to work on, and determine the pace at which learning should take place.

How might I use the results of my assessment and Learning Plan?
The tool is primarily for your own use, to aid in steering your technical and professional development using the self-assessment and learning plan. However you may want to share the results of the assessment with your supervisor and enlist his/her help and guidance in selecting competencies to work on and learning resources to use. You might also include the results in your portfolio to show during a job interview, especially if you have entered relevant evidence to support your self-assessment.

Does SPE want my feedback on my use of the CMT?
Yes, because at the end of the day, any tool is only as good as its users find it to be – taking the time to provide feedback to SPE is the best way to make sure CMT is the best it can be and to help SPE better serve its members.

How does an “assessment” differ from a “performance appraisal”?
An assessment determines whether an individual possesses the skills and knowledge required to perform a job to a required standard, and highlights specific training and development needs. A performance appraisal is a review of an individual’s actual performance during a specific time period.

What is “competence”?
The combination of awareness, knowledge, skills and attitude that an individual must demonstrate in order to meet the performance standards required of his or her job.

What is a “competency model (CM)”?
An aggregation of Competency Units – the set of tasks and responsibilities that a jobholder is required to know and have the skills to perform in order to be considered competent in the job. A model is typically grouped into five areas: Organizational Core, Functional Core, Support, Location Specific, and Behavioral and Soft Skills.

What is a “competency unit (CU)”?
A series of statements covering a specific topic. The CU topics describe specific business, technical and behavioral tasks, skills or knowledge. Each CU contains a general statement and a series of specific statements arranged in four levels of proficiency – starting with Awareness (Level 1) and moving to Mastery (Level 4).

What is a “job level requirement” (JLR)?
An indication of the expected level of performance of an employee in carrying out a specified task: Awareness (Level 1), Basic Application (Level 2), Skilled Application (Level 3) and Mastery (Level 4).

What is a “learning plan”?
A learning plan identifies the training needed to fill prioritized gaps between the employee’s current skills and those required of the position, including the training type and expected time required, to fill the job requirement. Learning plans are composed of individual training events that have been matched to the competency units in each job competency model.