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Competency-Based Management (CBM)

Description:

The new competency-based management (CBM) approach to business planning may have valuable applications in the rail industry, particularly in light of high turnover due to retirement. In order to understand and ultimately benefit from this new approach, research should be conducted to inform the rail industry about the nature, extent, and uses of competency-based management in the rail industry. Accordingly, a variety of research needs related to this topic have been identified including: a survey of existing best practices in the rail and other related industries, identification of gaps between training and education offered in this area, and testing the application of CBM within the industry.

According to Wikipedia the use of a competency-based human resources approach attempts to “link the skills, abilities and “competencies” of the workforce to the overall strategic plan” and business risks of a business or organization. Competencies are defined as observable abilities, skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors needed for successful job performance. Additionally, as organizations and their businesses grow and change, the competencies required for success may also change over time. Thus, a traditional engineering-based, technology driven organization may evolve to a more customer-focused approach where new and different competencies for success may ultimately be identified. Thus a cycle of identification, action, and assessment may be needed in order to successfully manage employee competency.

Competency-based management also strives to integrate the human capital resources of an organization with business planning and execution by allowing organizations to assess the current human resource capacity based on their competencies against the capacity needed to achieve the vision, mission and business goals of the organization.

Objective:

The objective of this work is to provide baseline data on current standards and practices, as well as determine the suitability and effectiveness of new models or frameworks for competency-based management in the rail industry, both in the US and abroad. This could be done through research on the current state-of-the-art or on emerging approaches.

Related Research:

Workforce development and retention, SMS training and qualification, competence modeling

Tasks:

1. Identify the state-of-the-art through literature reviews such as:

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Review of the use of competency-based management approaches in rail and other industries.

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Comparative literature review of existing legislation or other requirements or guidelines about training and qualifications for rail across various jurisdictions

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Comparative review of rail training and qualifications requirements versus those of other transportation modes

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Review of regulations/standards across different jurisdictions or industries for ongoing assessment

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Review of how CBM and SMS overlap (e.g. a review of CBM elements included in Canadian or US SMS frameworks and requirements)

  1. Determination of the training needs of various rail industry trades and crafts. This could include the following research:

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Task analyses or training needs assessments for different trades

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Analysis of the training needs and challenges specifically related to ab initio employees

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Risk-based training needs analysis (e.g. examining how training could be prioritized within an SMS and assisting with training design through identification of critical but infrequently used skills)

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Analysis of skills requirements and training needs for supervisors and managers

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Review of non-technical skills requirements and the use of these skills by both technical workers and by managers

  1. Conduct a gap analysis between existing competencies and required competencies for the rail industry

  2. Study of links between CBM and safety outcomes (e.g. identification of any relationship between training/competency, management approaches, or other non-technical competency issues and historical incidents, accidents, or injuries)

  3. Review of existing baseline practices within the rail industry (e.g. training requirements and guidelines)

  4. Study the effects of the new US regulations on training and qualifications (Title 49, Part 243)

  5. Study of the prevalence of “NoTechs” or HF or CRM type material in rail training in general

  6. Study best practices and/or gap analyses of the US or other jurisdictions, or of the rail industry compared to other industries with respect to:

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Specific training approaches or models

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Use of simulators for training train crews

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Manual skill retention in automated environments

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Assessment methods

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Management frameworks for training

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CBM for management and leadership competencies

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CBM issues related to collective agreements or remuneration models

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CBM issues related to crew size (i.e. multi-person vs single person crews)

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CBM issues or considerations related to in-cab automation (e.g. introduction of new technology, mixed fleets with different levels of automation, etc.)

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Evaluating the effectiveness of a CBM system

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Examination of the grounds used to support mandatory CBM in other industries or rail jurisdictions

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Study of the relationship between CBM and safety culture, if any

  1. Conduct an industry-wide competency assessment with a prospective approach that could identify the competencies needed for the next 10-20 years of the railroad industry. This information could be used to guide and develop training programs in the future. This would include identification of:

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The skills and competencies will be needed in the next generation work force

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The skills and competencies needed to advance the rail industry

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The human capital needs of the workforce for the future

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The education and training needs of the future workforce (e.g. more technical or more customer service driven, etc.)

  1. Study of the transferability of CBM best practices used in other industries and/or jurisdictions for the North American rail industry (this may include a study of the different operating contexts relevant to CBM)

  2. Determination and validation of a universal model for CBM

  3. Develop a competency compendium that describes and defines specific competencies

  4. Develop a compendium of rail industry business needs and the competencies needed to support those

Sponsoring Committee:AR070, Railroad Operational Safety
Source Info:AR070 Committee members
Date Posted:04/27/2016
Date Modified:05/05/2016
Index Terms:Railroads, Management, Competency, Business planning, Human resources management, Labor force, Organizational effectiveness,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Subjects    
Railroads
Administration and Management

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