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Staff competencies

Our staff are at the heart of our work and the services we deliver to our students and communities; an outcome of our strategic story is that “Our staff are skilled, committed and engaged to deliver our vision”. 

To support this outcome we have a framework of competencies that set out the knowledge, skills, attributes and behaviours that align our staff, and their work, with our values and strategic objectives.  

Our ‘Core Competencies’ are applicable to everyone across UCOL. The following ‘Customer and Business Support’, ‘Technical Specialists’, ‘Leadership – Operational Management’ and ‘Leadership – Strategic Management’ are the occupational specific pathways within UCOL and each have their own set of Competencies in addition to the Core Competencies. 

Core Competencies

Tangata Tiriti – how we embrace culture

  • Engagement - establish and maintain effective professional relationships focussed on the learning and wellbeing of our ākonga, demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice by engaging in He Kākano Rua (UCOL’s Cultural Competency Framework).
  • Enlightenment - continue to develop understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi and continue to develop knowledge of Tikanga Māori and the appropriate usage and accurate pronunciation of te Reo Māori.
  • Empowerment – demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand, works effectively within the bicultural context of UCOL.

Professional behaviours – how we behave at work

  • Dependable/compliant – Is responsible and reliable at work. Acts with respect and integrity. Appreciates and understands rules and regulations and adheres to documented procedures
  • Resilience - remains calm, composed, and optimistic in stressful or high pressure situations.
  • Flexibility - highly open and adaptable to change. Adjusts quickly. Is open to different and new ways of doing things, has a willingness to modify one’s own way of doing things. Challenges adversarial, stuck in the mud attitudes.
  • Risk conscious/zero harm attitude – is aware of their surroundings and acts with caution. Is vigilant of hazards. Takes responsibility for the safety/care of oneself and others. Adheres to all workplace safety laws, regulations, standards and practices.
  • Self-insight - is aware of own strengths and weaknesses and actively seeks out opportunities for new learning and growth. Manages own time, priorities and resources to achieve goals.  Shows drive and motivation. Is receptive to others ideas, has good listening skills.
  • Emotional intelligence – perceives and manages emotions in self and manages interpersonal relationships well. Can understand different personalities, how people work.
  • Shows initiative - proactively seeks out and/or willingly accepts new challenges, responsibilities, and assignments. Demonstrates self-motivation. Takes action to achieve appropriate objectives beyond what is required without being prompted. Knows when to take action and when to seek advice. When seeking advice will have already thought about the questions that are likely to be asked and will often have a recommended way forward. Independently seeks opportunities for development. Able to look to the immediate future and plan for ‘what’s around the corner’. Changes one's own work methods to improve results. Thinks in an innovative way, can assess and recommend change.
  • Ethics and integrity - adheres to core values that are represented in decisions and actions. Does not use position or authority for personal gain. Does the right thing even when faced with challenges.
  • Personal responsibility – takes responsibility for self and the accountability  of the role

Work practice – how we achieve results

  • Achievement - demonstrates a strong focus on high performance standards and personal achievement. demonstrates high energy. Is ambitious.
  • Mental power – is able to learn new information and skills quickly. Is able to apply learnt information to new problems. Quick to pick up technical concepts. 
  • Critical thinking - critically analyses and evaluates information in a logical way when solving complex problems.
  • Logical reasoning – the ability to pick up on trends and patterns within data and to apply these patterns to solve a problem. Able to learn new information and integrate this with existing knowledge.
  • Numerical reasoning - the ability to understand and make decisions on the basis of numerical information, such as information presented in tables, figures and graphs.
    • Digital competence / IT literacy
    • Information: identify, locate, retrieve, store, organise and analyse digital information, judging its relevance and purpose. 
    • Communication: communicate in digital environments, share resources through online tools, link with others and collaborate through digital tools, interact with and participate in communities and networks, cross-cultural awareness. 
    • Content-creation: create and edit new content (from word processing to images and video); integrate and re-elaborate previous knowledge and content; produce creative expressions, media outputs and programming; deal with and apply intellectual property rights and licences. 
    • Safety: personal protection, data protection, digital identity protection, security measures, safe and sustainable use.
    • Problem-solving: identify digital needs and resources, make informed decisions as to which are the most appropriate digital tools according to the purpose or need, solve conceptual problems through digital means, creatively use technologies, solve technical problems, update one's own and others' competences.
  • Results focus – works within clear deadlines in project planning, managing projects, time management, and project organisation. Gets the job done.

Relationships – how we work together

  • Communication - communicates in a clear, confident and articulate manner.  Expresses ideas clearly and interprets information from others in a manner that ensures a shared understanding. Understands and learns from what others say. Follows up on actions. Listens attentively to others ideas and concerns, understands non-verbal cues.
  • Verbal reasoning – the ability to understand complex written arguments and make accurate decisions on the basis of that information, such as research information, reports and correspondence.  
  • Teamwork - supports and collaborates with team members to achieve targets. Promotes cooperation and commitment within a team to achieve goals and deliverables. 
  • Negotiation/conflict management - is effective in influencing the thoughts and actions of others successfully negotiates and persuades others to align with their goals in a positive manner. Manages conflict quickly and efficiently adhering to policy.
  • Building relationships - initiates and maintains successful relationships with colleagues. Socially confident. Demonstrates integrity and respect for others and builds trust through consistent behaviour.
  • Strategic agility – works in a way that promotes achieving the outcomes of UCOLs strategic story.
  • Values diversity – shows respect for diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Helps create a work environment that enables and appreciates diversity.
  • Collaboration - supports and collaborates with team members to achieve targets.  Appreciates the benefits of diversity and works well with a variety of people.
  • Keeps student focus – expresses high expectations for all students, understands the needs and motivations of students, makes decisions with student best interest in mind and expects team to do the same. Keeps commitments made to students and ensures others do the same. Maintains strong relationships with students where they are treated with respect and ensures team do the same.

Customer and Business Support Competencies

  • Customer focus - motivated by exceeding customer expectations. Understands the customer perspective and uses it to guide decision making for quality service outcomes. Anticipates needs of all customers including students and stakeholders. Demonstrates professional standards and behaviours that deliver superior outcomes.  
  • Negotiation skills – able to approach differences with confidence, ensuring that personal and professional relationships remain strong. 
  • Relationship management - maintains relationships with key stakeholders by connecting and collaborating with them.  Presents a cheerful, positive manner, treating others equally. 
  • Ethics and integrity - respects and maintains confidentiality. Avoids situations and actions considered inappropriate or which present conflict of interest.

Technical Specialists' Competencies

  • Strategic agility - takes a big-picture, long-term view when planning and anticipating potential impacts on the business. Weighs up options and implications, identifies strategies and plans (long and short term), and is comfortable with managed risks. 
  • Implementation - is reliable, detail-focused, proactive and meticulous. Follows through on plans to ensure they are carried out accordingly. Implement appropriate controls to ensure compliance with established processes.
  • Customer focus – exceeds customer expectations and fulfils obligations to others. Adheres to agreed customer service practices and standards.
  • Autonomy/mental power -Is fully accountable for meeting allocated objectives. Establishes milestones and has a significant role in the planning and allocation of responsibilities. Is fully accountable for meeting allocated technical and/or project/ supervisory objectives.
  • Flexibility – has a desire to learn more and is able to learn new information and skills quickly. Is able to apply learnt information to new problems. Quick to pick up technical concepts. Is prepared to adapt practices and skills to meet the changing needs of the organisation.
  • Influence - influences organisation, customers, suppliers, partners and peers through specialist skills and experience. Understands the relationship between own role and wider customer/organisational requirements. Builds appropriate and effective business relationships. Makes decisions which impact the success of assigned projects i.e. results, deadlines and budget. 
  • Complexity - performs an extensive range and variety of complex technical and/or professional work activities. Undertakes work which requires the application of fundamental principles in a wide and often unpredictable range of contexts.
  • Business skills - advises on the available standards, methods, tools and applications relevant to own specialist area and can make appropriate choices from alternatives. Analyses requirements, advises on scope and options for continuous operational improvement. Assesses and evaluates risk. Communicates effectively, both formally and informally. Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who have diverse objectives. Takes initiative to keep skills up to date. Demonstrates creativity and innovation in applying solutions for the benefit of the customer/stakeholder. Analyses, designs, plans, executes and evaluates work to time, cost and quality targets. Takes account of relevant legislation. Maintain a level of currency regarding emerging technologies and how they might be applied to support business outcomes. Takes customer requirements into account when making proposals. Maintains an awareness of developments in the industry.

Leadership – Operational Management Competencies

  • Talent development – recruits/selects highly effective staff and values diversity. Creates/supports opportunities for staff to grow in their roles (talent growth) / towards career goals.(succession planning) Contributes to retention of the most talented/ valued employees and manages out staff who do not meet UCOL expectations. 
  • Drives results – focuses on results and how they are achieved. Adjusts plans and makes decisions to achieve intended outcomes even when data is limited or solutions produce unpleasant consequences. Demonstrates tenacity, perseveres through challenges to reach goals. Supports team to persevere. Supports team in using student and staff performance data to drive improved teaching and learning.
  • Resilience – deals effectively with pressure, remains optimistic & persistent even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks.
  • Accountability – takes responsibility for the decisions and actions of the team.
  • Creativity and innovation – develops new insights in situations. Questions conventional approaches. Encourages new ideas & innovations. Designs and implements new or cutting edge programmes/ processes.
  • Cultural competence – is operating at the high end of UCOL’s Cultural Competency framework He Kākano Rua.
  • Financial decisions – prepares, justifies and administers programme budget. Adheres to all internal control procedures designed to prevent misuse of funds. Ensures all financial data id properly calculated and reported. Seeks ways to reduce costs.

Leadership – Strategic Management Competencies

  • Inspires others - takes a long term view & builds a shared vision with others, acts as a catalyst for organisational change, influences others to translate vision into action. Inspires & fosters team commitment, spirit, pride & trust. Facilitates cooperation & motivates team members to accomplish group goals. Encourages trust through openness & honesty. Anticipates new opportunities that are aligned with strategic goals and future direction setting.  Has impact and influence, builds coalitions, and aligns ideas with needs and priorities of others.
  • Strategic agility - positions UCOL for future success by identifying new opportunities. Weighs up options and implications, identifies strategies and plans, and is comfortable with managed risks. Establishes systems with the long-term sustainability of UCOL in mind.
  • Emotional intelligence - perceives and manages emotions in self and others. Relates well to others, with strong interpersonal skills.  Works to build and maintain friendly, trustworthy and open internal and external relationships and networks with people who are, or might become, important in achieving strategic-related goals. 
  • External awareness – understands and keeps up to date on local, national and international policies and trends that affect UCOL and shape stakeholders views. Is aware of UCOLs impact on the external environment