Critical competence requirements

Published: 08 April 2016
Last edited: 25 May 2018

The purpose is to identify the critical competence requirements for effective functioning at all levels. The levels are closely linked having the same competence areas (see below) and with many of the competences within these demonstrating progression in skills and understandings through the levels. Some competences are specific to particular levels. The competences are then used to:

  • Establish benchmarks for operations at the three levels
  • Provide rigorous criteria for professional certification
  • Inform assessment of existing competence and identify competence gaps
  • Inform training and other capacity development intervention needs
  • Certify MPA personnel who meet the competence requirements as MPA–PROs.
  • Inform recruitment, performance review, and promotion processes
  • Establish a career path for MPA personnel
  • Shape the training provided for MPA personnel

The competences are grouped into 7 ‘Competence Areas’:

  1. Policy, Legislation and Compliance
  2. MPA Concept and Establishment
  3. Communication and Stakeholder Engagement
  4. Financial Management and Fundraising
  5. Management Operations
  6. Biophysical and Sociocultural Environment
  7. Leadership, Ethics and Innovation

Classifications

Category
Collection of baseline and monitoring data and knowledge
Scale of implementation
Multi-national
Phase of solution
Planning phase

Enabling factors

  • Initial focus on one level
  • Competence lists developed collaboratively involving a range of perspectives: (M)PA management; science; education and assessment
  • Competences grouped into Competence Areas
  • Competences sufficiently generic to be widely applicable
  • Competences at a fairly broad level with each competence encompassing a range of specific skills
  • Competences limited to less than 80 (absolute maximum) to facilitate effective assessment
  • Competences supported by Range Statements indicating the level required and evidence relevant to their assessment

Lessons learned

The main lesson is that the identification of the competences must be a collaborative and iterative process. They do not appear overnight, and require consistent focus over a considerable time. The different perspectives are essential, but will pull the process in different directions, with the ultimate outcome inevitably representing something of a compromise. The starting point should probably be the Competence Areas (see the WIO-COMPAS competence lists in the Handbook). The initial focus on one level was a strong feature of the process, avoiding the complication of trying to work at all levels at once. It cannot be stressed too hard that the process of identification of the competences is absolutely central to the whole process, and the competences are the foundation for everything that follows.