The Playbook for Workforce Frameworks is instrumental in supporting a standard approach to developing workforce frameworks to enable interoperability and improve communication, innovation, and mobility across workforces.
The playbook defines a model workforce framework built on the principles of agility, flexibility, modularity, and interoperability. Its core principles include:
The playbook details the model framework’s components, including the TKS statement building blocks and their applications as Work Roles and Competency Areas, and provides developers with resources on how to develop these components and describe common uses with their community. The playbook is intended to be a living document, with additional resources being developed to add to it over time.
By describing information about a defined area of work, a workforce framework provides a common language that can improve communication and align stakeholders’ expectations. For example:
Organizations often face the need to improve workforce development efforts not just in one area but across multiple, related disciplines. Flexible workforce frameworks based on a modular, building-blocks approach enable interoperability, agility, and flexibility Developing a workforce framework from a common model not only leverages existing best practices, but also serves to improve communication among organizations and among disciplines within an organization, which can drive innovative solutions to common challenges and facilitate workforce mobility. By applying a consistent workforce framework model, employers can establish common processes across multiple fields and work roles, and education and training providers can apply a consistent method in developing learning programs across disciplines.
Task, Knowledge, and Skill (TKS) statements are the core building blocks of a workforce framework model. This building block approach encourages interoperability and flexibility in how a workforce framework can be used and applied. Using this model across multiple workforce frameworks provides extensibility and scalability—enabling multiple frameworks, for instance, to reference the same statements when pertinent to more than one field of work.
Essentially, Task statements define the work to be done and Knowledge and Skill statements define what a learner (including students, job seekers, and employees) must know and be able to do to complete that work. These building block statements are the foundation of Competency Areas and Work
A Work Role is a grouping of work for which an individual or team is responsible or accountable. Work Roles are composed of Tasks that constitute work to be done; Tasks include associated Knowledge and Skill statements that represent a learner’s potential to perform those Tasks. Work Roles are not synonymous with jobs or position titles; a single job may comprise one or more Work Roles. They are frequently used when defining positions and responsibilities. Assessment for Work Roles typically occurs at the Task level.
Work Roles represent common areas of responsibility for a workforce; roles that are emerging and not fully developed or commonly held in the profession are typically not integrated into a workforce framework model until more mature. Domain areas that are additive to existing Work Roles, cross multiple roles, or that represent emerging areas of work are typically represented as Competency Areas.
Depending on the number and type of Work Roles represented in your workforce framework, you may consider also created Work Role Categories to group together like Work Roles.
Learn More: Visit the NICE Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework to see example Work Roles and Work Role Categories
A Competency Area is a cluster of related Knowledge and Skill statements that correlates with one’s capability to perform Tasks in a particular domain. Competency Areas can help learners discover areas of interest, inform career planning and development, identify gaps for knowledge and skills development, and provide a means of assessing or demonstrating a learner’s capabilities in the domain. Competency Areas consist of a name, description of the area, and group of associated TKS statements. Learner capability in a particular Competency Area can be improved through education, training, or other learning experiences.
Competency Areas offer an opportunity to increase alignment and coordination between employers, learners, and education, training, and certification providers.
Both Work Roles and Competency Areas can be used to identify teams in the workplace.
When the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) program office updated the NICE Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework (NIST SP 800-181 Rev. 1) in 2020, stakeholders throughout the cybersecurity ecosystem were calling for a more streamlined approach to workforce development. Because cybersecurity is a complex, rapidly evolving arena, it demands an agile workforce and therefore a flexible workforce framework. Further, because cybersecurity is intertwined with other complex, rapidly evolving workforces–such as information privacy and data sciences–as well as newly emerging workforce areas such as artificial intelligence, interoperability among related workforce frameworks would be instrumental in driving usefulness, applicability, and adoption. This playbook describes how developing a flexible, modular workforce framework based on a standardized model facilitates such interoperability.