My team maintain and use one, I won’t be able to post it here (company confidential) but can tell you we have a range of competencies in the following categories: Innovation, Core Competencies, Tooling, Problem Solving, Knowledge and Understanding, Interaction, Performance (as in, performance testing - a big consideration with our product hence it getting singled out).
Under Core Competencies (for instance) we have subcategories for: 3 Amigos, Backlog Grooming, Planning, Stand Ups, Test Planning, Test Review, Defect creation, Test execution
And then under “Test Planning” (for example) we have bandings for Jr, Mid, Senior and Lead testers - we expect for example a Senior to be able to do what a Jr and Mid to be able to do, and more:
Junior: Creates clear test cases which follow good practices, within test management tool.
Mid: Writes good test cases, able to be a coach for what good looks like, Able to bring in other styles of creating test cases.
Senior: Mentors other members of the team/business on test case creation.
Lead: Drives and maintains standards for test cases with the wider community of practice. Actively works to introduce new ideas and approaches to test planning within the testing discipline.
So… for each major area of the job, we have a group of competencies, and for each competency, we have a range of “levels” which delineate our expectations for each tier of the tester career path. We don’t expect everyone to be at “the right level”, people will be better at some and worse at others. We also actively update this document several times a year (or as needed), as a community of practice.
The good thing about this is, it’s clear what the expectation for your role is, as well as how this is different to both more junior and more senior roles, so you can see what good looks like, and also what “below the expectation for your role” looks like. The bad thing is, it’s very concrete and can’t really cater for every individual, situation or application of competency. For example, some of my teams don’t run 3 Amigos. How can a tester in that team expect to do well at that part of the framework? So in the end we err on the side of including more than we need and accept for some things, it’s a N/A.
We definitely don’t maintain separate sets of skills and competencies, sounds like that would be a pain for the employee. Whether or not skills are elements of a competency isn’t important, in practical terms. What do your employees need to be doing, to be doing a good job? For me, that’s the point of the competency framework.