How to use the Competencies

Engineering competencies are used to inform conversations about career progression between an engineer and their line manager. They define what an engineer is expected to be doing at a particular level. They are not a checklist, but a way to indicate what areas they may need to improve in.

We divide competencies into levels for different seniorities.

Levels

Each level represents the expectations and responsibilities that change from one level into another, so the name of each level contains two different job titles:

So, for example, a Junior Engineer should be considering the competencies at the “Junior to Mid” level. We also expect engineers to be considering whether they’re meeting competencies from the levels before their current one, though we don’t ask for evidence of this.

Competencies

Each competency has a summary which is designed to prompt a yes/no response. For each competency, an engineer should feel able to answer either “yes, I’m meeting this competency”, or “no, I’m not meeting this competency, yet”. An engineer and their line manager should keep a record of evidence for meeting each competency, for example:

Competency Meeting? Evidence
Contributes to the personal development of more junior people Yes Has been mentoring a junior member of staff for six months. Ran a department-wide Git workshop
Leads hiring process for new Engineers No The team has not had to hire new engineers in the last year, and so this competency cannot be met

In the second example the engineer is unable to meet the competency “Leads hiring process for new Engineers” because that opportunity hasn’t come up in their current role. This is fine: it’s not a requirement for the engineer to be meeting all of the competencies, however this may be an indication to that engineer’s line manager that opportunities need to be found or created.

A copy of the Engineering Progression Tracker (Google Sheet) is useful for keeping track of progress.

Examples

Some competencies have one or more examples. The examples are purely illustrative, and will not apply to everyone. When working towards a competency, an engineer does not need to be meeting any of the examples given if they can provide evidence that they are meeting the competency in another way.