Competency-Based Application Form

Completing Competency-based Application Forms for Public Sector Job Applications…

Competency-based Application Forms for Public Sector

In the last 10-15 years now, public sector job openings have no longer required or requested a Resumé / Curriculum Vitae (CV) from interested candidates to apply for them. There are many reasons for this:

  • CV’s come in all shapes and sizes
  • Very difficult to see/find the relevant information
  • They make it difficult to ask the same questions from every candidate during the interview

So, they have introduced Competency-based Applications Forms, where they look for the usual information from a CV i.e. Education, Qualifications, Training and Work Experience AND they ask for specific examples against required competencies needed to deliver on the job’s duties and responsibilities such as Planning & Organising, Communication, Making Decisions, Providing a Quality Service, Teamwork, Leadership, People Management, Drive & Commitment for example. The former is used on whether or not to invite the candidate for an interview, while the latter is used on whether or not to offer the candidate the job.

Outlined below are guidelines to what and how the public sector want interested candidates to complete a Competency-Based Application Form taken from one of their recently advertised jobs on

A Competency-Based Application Form requires you, the candidate, to describe some of your personal achievements to-date that demonstrate certain competencies (necessary skills and qualities) required for the position you are applying for (e.g. Leader of Education and Learning, Leader of Centre Development, Communication Skills etc.).

A definition of a skill or quality is given for each competency. You are then asked to describe a situation, from your own experience, which you think is the best example of what YOU have done which demonstrates this skill or quality. It is essential that you describe how you demonstrated the skill or quality in question.

You are advised to structure what you write so that you give specific information about what you have done – for example, do not simply say that “X was successful”, describe exactly what you did and how you demonstrated the skill or quality in question.

For each example please include the following:

(a) the nature of the task, problem or objective;

(b) what you actually did and how you demonstrated the skill or quality (and, where      appropriate, the date you demonstrated it)

(c) the outcome or result of the situation and your estimate of the proportion of credit you can claim for the outcome.

Please do not use the same example to illustrate your answer to more than two skill areas.

Please note that, should you be called to interview, the board may look for additional examples of where you demonstrated the skills required for this post so you should think of a number of examples of where you demonstrated each of the skills.

Competency-based Application Forms for Public Sector


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