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UC Core Competencies

Learn about the UC Core Competency Model and how it can be applied to an Individual Development Plan (IDP).

Developed by the UC Learning and Development Consortium in January 2011, the UC Core Competency Model serves as a foundational tool for the assessment and development of staff, managers, and leaders at the University of California.  The competencies serve as a guidepost in areas such as performance management, professional development and succession management.

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UC Core Competency Model

The UC Core Competency Model includes nine competency categories for all employee levels and an additional category for those in the role of manager.

  1. Communication: shares and receives information using clear oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  2. Diversity and Inclusion: models and promotes the UC San Diego Principles of Community and complies with UC policies on diversity and non discrimination.
  3. Employee Engagement: demonstrates commitment to the job, colleagues, the University and its mission by acting in ways that further the accomplishment of its goals.
  4. Innovation and Change Management: uses personal knowledge and professional experience to envision the future, anticipate change, capitalize on opportunities, and develop innovative options that further the strategic direction of the organization.
  5. Job Mastery and Continuous Learning: demonstrates responsibility for one’s own career path and continuous learning by identifying and applying new skills as needed to perform successfully on the job.
  6. Resource Management: demonstrates integrity, accountability, and efficient stewardship of university resources in a manner consistent with the UC Standards of Ethical Conduct and other policies.
  7. Result Orientation and Execution: demonstrates the ability to analyze situations or problems, make timely and sound decisions, construct plans, and achieve optimal results.
  8. Service Focus: values and delivers high quality, professional, responsive and innovative services.
  9. Teamwork and Collaboration: collaborates with colleagues in order to achieve results in alignment with the operations and mission of the University of California.
  10. People Management: leads and engages people to maximize organizational and individual performance through alignment with the University mission and attainment of strategic and operational goals.

Staff Education & Development offers several web resources for how the UC Core Competencies can be used for development, performance management and succession planning.

UC Core Competency Background

Developed by the UC Learning and Development Consortium (now known as the Talent Management Consortium) in January 2011, the UC Core Competency Model is to serve as a foundational tool for the assessment and development of staff, managers, and leaders at the University of California. Broader applications for the core competency model are intended to include the following process areas:

  • Employment including job descriptions, job postings, interviewing and selection
  • Compensation including position classification and job family design
  • Performance Management
  • Professional Development
  • Succession Management

The literature defines competencies as “a collection of related knowledge, skills, abilities, and other personal characteristics (KSAOs) working in concert to produce outstanding performance.” The literature also indicates the success of an organization depends on the skills and capabilities of its employees. However, too many employees lack the appropriate skills to help organizations grow and succeed. Therefore, more and more organizations are using competency based approach when making personnel related decisions. A competency based strategy moves the focus from jobs towards the employees and the skills they possess.

The UC Competency Model was developed to facilitate the recruitment, selection, and retention of diverse and talented employees on the premise that past behavior predicts future behavior. It is intended to describe targeted, expected or satisfactory performance behaviors at the University of California, where seeking excellence in mission accomplishment is the standard. Additionally, the core competencies described in this model are expected to be accomplished by all employees in the University to some degree. Those in the role of Manager have an additional competency for which they are accountable.

The Competency Model is intended to serve as a dictionary or compendium to define the “What” as processes and programs in employment, compensation, learning and development are designed, implemented and assessed for effectiveness. The “How” of incorporating the Competency Model in to specific location and systemwide talent management efforts will be designed into the next phases of the Consortium’s work. The “Why” a person has or has not attained a certain level of proficiency in the Competency Model is a process step in subsequent program assessment and performance evaluation. The Consortium, in developing the descriptors and behavioral indicators contained in this Competency Model, has deliberately tried to be broad and inclusive of the existing work on Core Competencies that has been developed at several UC locations.

Full UC Core Competency Model (Word file)
Detailed People Management Competencies (PDF)

Behavioral Indicators for the UC Core Competencies

The UC Core Competency Model Behavioral Indicators provides behavioral statements for each competency categorized by two levels: operational and mastery. These levels serve as guides to behavior that might be demonstrated at each level. Behavioral indicators can be very useful when creating a goal statement for and Individual Development Plan.

UC San Diego Core Competency Model Behavioral Indicators (PDF)

How to Use the UC Core Competencies in Individual Development Plans

Individual Development Plans (IDP’s) are most effective when they have been created by both the manager and the individual subject to the plan. The role of the manager is to provide the employee with support and resources necessary for successful completion of the IDP.

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