Competency Model Assessment: Participants Reactions in A UAE Oil Company
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the factors that make the competency model effective from the perspective of the trainees in an oil company in the United Arab Emirates. Identifying these factors will be of help to other sectors as they implement similar programs. Competency based programs could help to upgrade the skills of UAE nationals and give them a better chance of employment; at present employers perceive UAE nationals negatively, as lacking skills. Design/Methodology/Approach: The reaction level of the Kirkpatrick evaluation is used in this study. A model is created to study the relationship between the competency model design, work environment variables and the perceived effectiveness of the competency model. Next, a questionnaire is used to measure the perceptions of the trainees in one oil company who are still undergoing or have completed competency-based model. Quantitative methodology is used in this study, as structural equation modeling is utilized to analyze the collected data. Findings: The factors that contribute to the effectiveness of the competency-based model are the competency model design, i.e. the competency model goal, the relevance of the content and material to the trainees’ job, the assessment of the trainees’ competencies and the little or no coaching that they receive. Limitations: This study was conducted in one oil company and among 375 trainees only. For this reason, the results cannot be generalized to other contexts where a similar program is implemented. The variables that are beyond the control of the company, such as the trainees’ characteristics and peer support from the work environment, were outside the scope of the study. Originality/Value: This research will help to close the gap that previous studies have indicated in the application of competency models, their evaluation and their effectiveness. It will add value to the efforts of the National Qualification Authority in Abu Dhabi, by providing increased understanding of the factors that make the competency model effective. Such models could then be implemented across different sectors in the UAE to develop the intended competency levels of UAE nationals across various fields of work.