The Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org) announced on Jan. 6 the completion of the Automation Competency Model, a formal federal document defining the skills and competencies needed in the automation field. The early 2009 announcement was expected, as reported here in Automation World last month. The Automation Federation worked with industry experts and representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to develop the model over the course of several meetings, including face-to-face working sessions in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and in Houston last fall during the ISA Expo.
A competency model is a clear description of what a person needs to know and be able to do—the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform well in an occupation. Competency models are developed through research and industry validation, and once completed, are promoted, maintained, and updated. The Automation Competency Model is made up of nine tiers, including personal effectiveness competencies, academic competencies, workplace competencies, industry-wide competencies, automation technical competencies, occupation-specific technical competencies, occupation-specific requirements, and management competencies.
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Designed to help individuals prepare for job opportunities in the automation profession, the model will also help academic institutions updating curricula to better prepare the technology workforce of the future. Most importantly, it will provide a common language for the dialogue between the educators and executives who are working together to rebuild the workforce pipeline.
The Federation presented a Web seminar in December to introduce the Automation Competency Model to the workforce investment board system, educators, and employers through Workforce3 One, sponsored by the DOL/Employment and Training Administration (ETA). Workforce3 One is an interactive communications and learning platform designed to build the capacity of the Workforce Investment System (WIS) to develop strategies that enable individuals to be successful in the 21st century economy. This platform provides online insight into the skills and competencies required by business and industry through the innovative workforce solutions identified by a wide range of strategic partners and grantees. Workforce3 One allows the workforce system, educators, business and industry, and others to share their innovative approaches, products, and tools and provides a vehicle for ETA to share information and products developed at the national level. The Automation Federation Web seminar will be available on the Workforce3 One portal.
See it here
The final Automation Competency Model can be viewed here. The archived Webcast about the model can be viewed here, after registering at the Workforce3 One site, at www.workforce3one.org/view/5940/info.
“The completion of the Automation Competency Model is a huge step in our workforce development efforts to develop the next generation of automation professionals,” said Automation Federation Chairman Steve Huffman. “The next step is for automation professionals, companies and other organizations to join the Automation Federation efforts and help to spread this model throughout the United States. In addition, the Automation Federation will be working closely with similar organizations overseas to help define our profession around the globe in the coming years.”
To hear a podcast interview by Automation World Managing Editor Wes Iversen with Steve Huffman, 2008 Chairman of the Automation Federation, regarding the development of the Automation Competency Model, please visit