New to the Competency Management Tool?

Overview of SPE's Competency Management Tool (CMT)

The Competency Management Tool (CMT) helps SPE members manage their professional and technical development. The CMT is quite versatile in that it not only offers the capability to perform a self-assessment, but also:

  1. Identifies the competency gaps relative to a job title
  2. Identifies learning resources to close the gaps, and
  3. Provides the user a way to develop and track a self-paced learning plan

By using the tool to identify competency gaps, users can proactively manage their professional development.

The tool was built over a number of years by pooling rich and diverse experiences of many people working in the upstream oil and gas industry and is being used by many companies in different parts of the world.

Getting the maximum benefit from CMT
Users must read the following information before using the CMT, to understand the tool’s output and get the maximum benefit from it.

The user will start by selecting an appropriate job title (i.e., by selecting a title that resembles closely the job he or she is currently doing). The CMT supports a three-step process.

  1. Step 1: Self-Assessment
  2. Step 2: Build a Learning Plan
  3. Step 3: Learn, Apply, Reassess

Once Step 1 is completed, the model provides an Assessment Results report, which displays gaps in those skills where user’s response to the competency level statements is at a level lower than that required for the job.

Please note that most users will discover that they have ‘gaps’ after completing their self-assessment regardless of their years of experience in the job for a variety of reasons. All the jobs in the CMT have been defined very broadly. SPE created the job descriptions acknowledging the significant variations in the job titles and job scopes across the industry.

Users should be aware that if they were to superimpose their own job description on the job description included in the CMT for their role, it might not align perfectly. Even for areas where the roles match exactly, there may be gaps if there are deficiencies in the user’s skills. A gap can also manifest if the user has skills deficiencies in petrotechnical skills, soft skills or business acumen skills included in the CMT job models.


With the gaps identified in the assessment, the user needs to carefully analyze the gaps and select those that are pertinent to his or her current situation. Next comes prioritization of the shortened gap list based on the impact of addressing them in the short, medium and long term.

In Step 2 of the Tool, the user is required to build a Learning Plan based on:

  1. Selecting the skills with gaps and prioritizing them
  2. Selecting the courses or other resources recommended by the tool
  3. Developing a schedule

The tool will provide choices in terms of resources available for addressing the gaps. Since the CMT keeps a record of the training courses the user has completed and to repeat assessments at various points in the plan, the tool offers an incredible opportunity to SPE members to manage their technical and professional development.

Step 3 is the actual training and application of knowledge gained to close gaps:

  1. Track your training schedule
  2. Add supporting documents and evidence of competence
  3. Reassess

Student Models
Three entry level jobs have been included in the CMT: Subsurface Engineer, Facilities and Process Engineer, and a Well Engineer. To use these models, please select the title marked: Engineering – Entry Level. Although the industry typically hires graduate Petroleum, Chemical, and Mechanical Engineers for these jobs, students are not expected to have all the skills necessary to perform them since they include on the job training. However, to adapt well to the industry students are expected to have very good knowledge of their main engineering discipline.

For Existing Users
The Competency Management Tool now offers 41 different job titles to choose from, almost double the original 22 offerings. The number of competency models for operating companies have increase and, in addition, new models have been added that will cover service companies and graduating engineers. Additionally, important behavioral and soft skills have also been added to all models.

During our review, we tuned some of the wording within many of the competencies which in turn may affect the assessment you completed last year, so when you have the opportunity, we would encourage you to complete a new assessment against the updated models.

Please note that your previous assessment is retained and placed in the Assessment History report. Although the enhancements to the competency models may make your assessment results inconsistent with the new models.

If you built a Learning Plan, you can continue to work on it until you take another assessment.

Any tool is only as good as its users find it to be. Your feedback to SPE is the best way to make sure the CMT is the best it can be to serve the SPE. Email us.