How to use GEM’s Competency Framework

Suggestions, recommendations and guidance for how individuals and organisations can use GEM's Competency Framework

GEM’s Competency Framework exists to standardise practice across the sector, contributing to the professionalisation of museum learning and setting clear goals and expectations for the workplace.

The Framework is used in many different ways by individuals and organisations, and there is no set way to apply it. The following recommendations are examples of how the Core Competencies have been applied in the past, and is not an exhaustive list.

For Individuals:

With recording and evidencing in mind we have developed, additionally to the basic online framework, a version of the framework document that includes simple features for self-assessment and can be either downloaded for use offline or copied to your own Office 365 or Google Drive account.

  1. Save a copy of the framework with self-assessment features.
  2. Take some time to read each competency statement on each of the category sheets and add a score (0-100) in the “Progress” cell underneath each (this may be done over a number of sittings as there are a lot!)
  3. You may wish to collect evidence that demonstrates your proficiency towards aspects of each statement that you feel you have fully or partially met. This can be typed into the four blank cells underneath each of the competency statements, but this could take up a lot of space very quickly. A more appropriate method of listing evidence would be to copy-and-paste a URL to evidence stored outside the spreadsheet. This “evidence” could take a number of forms: a document that you have created or contributed to that is stored online (e.g. in your organisation’s Office 365 or Google Drive account); a video recording of an event or presentation; a social media post; another spreadsheet; a digital photograph: anything that has its own URL!
  4. The Dashboard sheet will be automatically updated to show an at-a-glance view of your progress through each theme (based on your self-assessment), collected under their parent categories. (There is no need to edit anything on this sheet and doing so may break some of the functionality).
  5. You may use the dashboard to inform which themes you wish to work on, in conjunction with other information such as appraisal targets, your specific job role, current projects and other work tasks, broader organisational and departmental goals, and discussions with colleagues and your line manager.
  6. Make a point of revisiting your document every so often to update your progress. You might like to take inspiration from one or more of the following ideas suggested by museum educators:
    • Set up a recurring calendar entry to commit to regular time (e.g. once per month) to review progress.
    • Get into the habit of reviewing your progress in the lead up to and immediately following participation in professional development opportunities such as training and conferences, etc.
    • When preparing project updates or reports on ongoing activities build in time to browse the CCFramework and see if they may contribute evidence for meeting or working towards any statements.

If you prefer to work on paper, you can use the Print Version (Plain-Text PDF).

For Organisations:

  • Embed into appraisal systems & link targets to Core Competency Framework statements, encouraging individuals to use, referencing the suggestions in For Individuals, above. Where appropriate, use competency statements to inform targets (explicitly referencing specific statements within appraisal targets) and agree on what constitutes appropriate evidence for meeting them.
  • Revisit these statements regularly, agreeing on a value to place in the Progress cell for each one.

If you have suggestions for how the framework can be used, or want to share something that has worked well for you, please email office@gem.org.uk.

Join GEM