December 24, 2017

To ensure your workforce remains skilled, motivated and driven to achieve your company’s strategic objectives, it is crucially important that all professional organisations invest in a competency framework solution.

Whilst it can initially be attractive for an organisation to develop their own internal competency frameworks, it is important to understand all of the challenges that will inevitably present themselves.


Developing your own in-house application, without an in-depth knowledge of how to keep sensitive information secure can present serious risks to your business. Even inside your internal network, simply encryption methods such as encrypted spreadsheets can be easy opened via just a few, quick google searches. As an employer you have a legal responsibility to keep your data secure. The ability6 platform has gone through vigorous security testing, whereby full liability passes to ability6 (Security Policy and Insurance documents are available upon request).


Whilst you may feel that developing an internal application will deliver a system that is completely bespoke to you company’s needs, you’ll find out quickly that each department and function within your business will have different requirements. Ability6 has been in development, in various forms for over seven years, taking into account the requirements of hundreds of companies across various global sectors. If you decide as a company to build your own competency framework you’ll need to accept that this will be a long process, adding and adapting to your internal needs – this needn’t be the case with ability6 as it already accounts for the vast majority of competency framework scenarios.

Management Consistency

Companies that develop internal competency frameworks may lack the technical expertise to develop shared systems that feed the appropriate business intelligence in the form of both departmental and company MI. If a company develops individual tools that are separately distributed to individual departments, then at a management and senior management level you’ll lose the visibility to holistically view and manage your organisation. The ability6 application provides one consistent tool to use across your entire local or global infrastructure, ensure all of your team are using one consistent platform and feeding into one set of management reports.

Key Person

The senior management team usual drive the implementation and support of a consistent competency framework, in order to strengthen an organisations ability to serve its customers and to align to its strategic objectives. If one or two individuals take it upon themselves to develop an in-house competency framework, this can (and we’ve seen it) present a serious risk once the employee decides to leave the organisation (or are moved on within the organisation). In this scenario, updates usually stop, workforce engagement dwindles, and management information become out of date or inaccurate. With the ability6 platform you can be guaranteed that we’ll work with your entire workforce ensuring support, proactive management information and helping you to embed a competency framework with true longevity – longevity that does not depend on certain individuals within your organisation.

Failure Points

We can all agree that a competency framework is a key fundamental of any successful business. Developing an in-house version though can be prone to bugs, long development time, lack of resource, lack of experience and more. If you are lucky to get to the point that you finally sign off on your in-house platform, there needs to be a strict support policy in place that can react quickly to errors, downtime, or system failure. Failure to support the business quickly will result in engagement of the application diminishing (quickly!). Don’t take the risk of developing your own competency framework. From as little as £1 per employee, let ability6 take this burden. Our support is first class and we aim to correct any issues or small tweaks within 24 hours – no waiting for internal staff to come back off of a two week holiday!

Biased Views

It is important to build a framework that is fair, precise and provides specific management actions. Whilst we always applaud those that attempt to develop an internal system, this can be fundamentally flawed by biased views, inexperience (of competency frameworks, or the effective use of technology), or segmented focus. In the instance of segment focus you can run the risk of having multiple frameworks running’s across your organisation, with no one way of gaining one accurate holistic view – this is common and causes confusion, incorrect management information, cost implications, internal frustrations and conflict and more…. Let ability6 work with you, your teams, your managers. We’ll help to progress and engage your entire workforce, thought the delivery of one mature and tested competency framework.

Version Control

Once you build an internal competency framework you need to ensure that there are strict policies (mainly via the use of technology) to ensure version control is maintained. If you are able to distribute (move, email etc) the competency framework, then versions control issues are likely to occur. Once you are in the situation, you’ll waste significant periods of time trying to understand what and where the latest most accurate data resides. Many companies abandon their internal efforts due to lost or corrupt data, not to mention the cost implications. With ability6, ‘version control’ is automatically maintained, with full historic reporting built in to enable you to view all your data at any period in the past.


Don’t be fooled into thinking you can create a quick solution internally. When you consider the responsibility bared by implementing vigorous security measures, verified backup solutions, removal of key man dependencies, required updates, strict policies etc you must set aside a specific cost centre budget and tolerance. We guarantee that you’ll not be able to produce a mature system, to the same level of sophistication and support as ability6.


As your business grows you need to ensure that your competency framework remains scalable. Often companies that start their journey building competency frameworks do so in spreadsheets or simple databases. What many of the companies don’t realise is that there are limitations on the number of records, or the performance of an application as data volumes grows. This can prevent an organisation from utilising their in-house solution as they grow, wasting time and cost in the long run. The ability6 solution utilises the latest Microsoft SQL database solution coupled with a robust cloud based infrastructure. The ability6 software will not only help you and your company to grow and flourish, but it will also be able to support you when you reach new levels of growth.


One of the most crucial factors of any system, or data store is to ensure you have the appropriate backups. This does not simply mean saving the file periodically when you remember to another location on your network, it means having a strict policy of Full data backups to both onsite and in offsite locations, with a tested recovery policy in place to ensure minimal downtime. This can be costly for organisations. Ability6 will take away this burden and manage your full backups, securely, ontime-everytime and have a robust, proven recovery process. Remember this is your workforce/employee data – it is crucially important!

We would like to end by saying that any organisation thinking of building their own internal competency framework, should look to mitigate all of the above. Alternatively with free accounts for businesses within 15 or less employees and then only £2 per employee thereafter, trust ability6 as your proven provider of a professional competency framework solution.

Call us for a chat on 0330 043 8943.

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