UC Berkeley Competencies

What are competencies?

Competencies are identified knowledge, skills, and abilities that describe employee traits which directly and positively impact the success of employees and organizations. Competencies can be objectively measured, enhanced, and improved through coaching and learning opportunities.

At UC Berkeley, competencies have been created for managers and supervisors, professional staff, and operational/technical staff.

Why are they important?

Competencies can help you identify the behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. You can use them to help guide your professional development by fixing your attention on the goals and values that are needed at UC Berkeley.

How can you use competencies?

Career success in an organization is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others at work. By studying the UC Berkeley competencies and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career and the work you do. You can empower yourself to make positive contributions at work and find the work you do rewarding and meaningful.

Study the competencies for your current level, but also the ones for other levels. Although the competencies have the same names, the descriptions are sometimes different and worth noting. You will learn what is needed for you to move to other levels within UC Berkeley by recognizing what competencies you will need to develop. Create a plan of action for yourself based on the competencies you wish to develop.

It can be very helpful for your career development to meet with your supervisor to gain their feedback and to brainstorm with the Staff, Supervisor & Manager Competencies about ways that you can create learning and development opportunities to develop competencies that are needed in your unit and that would be beneficial for your career development.

Core Competencies


Shows respect for people and their differences; promotes fairness and equity; engages the talents, experiences, and capabilities of others; fosters a sense of belonging; works to understand the perspectives of others; creates opportunities for access and success.


Demonstrates integrity, accountability and efficient stewardship of University resources in a manner consistent with UC policies including the UC Standards of Ethical Conduct and safety policies.

Problem Solving/Decision Making

Problem Solving - Anticipates and identifies problems; involves others in seeking innovative, simplified solutions; conducts appropriate analyses; searches for best solutions that have benefit within and/or outside the organization; responds quickly to new challenges; takes thoughtful risks that are well balanced.

Decision Making - Makes clear, consistent, transparent decisions; acts with integrity in all decision making; distinguishes relevant from irrelevant information and makes timely decisions; considers impact of decisions on University community.

Strategic Planning & Organizing

Understands big picture and aligns priorities with broader goals, measures outcomes, uses feedback to change as needed, evaluates alternatives, seeks alternatives and broad input; can see connections within complex issues; demonstrates ability to identify strengths and weaknesses of their organization as well as their external opportunities and threats.


Connects with peers, subordinates and customers; actively listens; clearly and effectively shares information; demonstrates effective oral and written communication skills; seeks input from others; adapts communication to diverse audiences.

Quality Improvement

Strives for efficient, effective, high quality performance in self and the unit; delivers timely and accurate results; resilient when responsing to situations that are not going well; takes initiative to make improvement; enhances skills by proactively participating in professional development and learning opportunities; able to learn from constructive feedback and mistakes.


Accepts responsibility for own work; develops trust and credibility; demonstrates honest and ethical behavior; handles stress and high demand situations; demonstrates tolerance and adaptability when dealing with ambiguous situations; models University and unit principles and culture; recognizes need for change and effectively manages areas that remain stable and those that are changing; effectively plans for change and deals with setbacks by being resilient and flexible; communicates frequently and authentically during times of change.


Cooperates and collaborates with colleagues as appropriate; works in partnership with others; cultivates, builds and maintains good relationships with peers, subordinates and customers; delivers on commitments to team/organization.

Service Focus

Values the importance of delivering high quality, innovative service to internal and external clients; understands the needs of the client; responds promptly to customer and is accessible to them; follows through on customer commitments in a timely manner; maintains positive, long-term working relationships with customers; assumes ownership of process issues and takes appropriate steps to mitigate problems.

Management Competencies

Strategic Focus

Definition: Sets the vision and defines the strategyJob Level
Key Skills Lead Supervisor Manager
Develops and uses organizational acumen
Sets strategy and direction
Creates organizational structure
Develops financial and resource plans
Influences, communicates and presents effectively
Makes timely and ethical supervision decisions
Manages change
Develops organizational readiness

Operational Focus

Definition: Drives team performanceJob Level
Key Skills Lead Supervisor Manager
Aligns team plans with organization vision and leadership strategies
Defines and delegates work
Sets team goals & quality / customer service standards
Organizes and facilitates meetings
Builds detailed operational plans
Develops metrics, team systems, and processes for continuous improvement
Assesses team success and addresses problems
Manages budget and resources
Resolves conflict
Builds collaboration

Employee Focus

Definition: Drives individual performanceJob Level
Key Skills Lead Supervisor Manager
Defines position roles and requirements
Supports development of a diverse workforce
Sets expectations and individual performance goals
Engages and develops employees
Conducts performance reviews
Motivates, recognizes, and rewards employees

Workplace Focus

Definition: Ensures a positive working environmentJob Level
Key Skills Lead Supervisor Manager
Develops a high-performance culture
Ensures an inclusive workplace
Ensures a safe workplace
Ensures compliance with all legal, contractual and UC Policy requirements

HR Competencies

HR Generalist Competencies

Employment Representative Competencies

Academic HR Analyst Competencies

Learning Resources

Catalog of online and instructor led courses for HR Generalist, Employment Representative, and Academic HR Analyst job families, organized by competency and job level.
Learn More...

Finance Competencies

Financial Analyst Competencies

Learning Resources

Catalog of online and instructor led courses for Financial Analyst competencies.
Learn More...