The mysterious language of competencies

Wednesday 7 October 2015, 12.30PM to 2.00pm

Speaker(s): Lorna Warnock, Biology


Through our engagement with the Year in Industry programme in the Department of Biology, it has become apparent that many students at all levels of their education are unfamiliar with the concept of competencies. We found that many students are unsure how to write about competencies when preparing job and placement applications or talk about them when preparing for interviews.  In order to assist our students with their preparation for the work place we were stimulated to write a Competency Framework for Bioscience sector students to reflect the competencies that are valued by employers and also the levels of these competencies that are expected from undergraduate, master’s and postgraduate students, which of course may differ considerably. Our work was supported by the Higher Education Academy and the framework is available at:

This workshop is an introduction to the concept of competencies.  We will discuss and explore the adaptation of the Competency Framework to the expected competencies of students at a particular stage in their degree and for specific degree programmes.  We can also explore creating Competency Frameworks to assist employers in their provision of placements for specific sectors.

We will also take a look at the interactive Competency Framework pdf which will soon be available for students to create their own Competency Framework and discuss how this may be used as a tool for students to chart their own professional development and identify their skills gaps.


By the end of the workshop participants should:

  • Understand what competencies are and why they are important
  • Have considered the competencies that will be needed in terms of the professional development of their students
  • Have reflected on the competencies students should be expected to have gained from their degree and other activities
  • Have thought about how students might articulate these competencies – for example at interview
  • Understand how they can adapt the Competency Framework to help employers select the appropriate level of student and length of placement.

Book your place

If you wish to attend this event, please complete our booking form or contact

Location: Room HG21, Heslington Hall