Service Excellence Competency Framework


Service excellence is a shared commitment to continuous improvement. It is about the way we serve colleagues, students and external stakeholders, and it means consistently meeting and exceeding the needs of our diverse community. Whether you work in student services, human resources, research administration, or any of our other administrative services, the everyday service interactions that you have with your clients contribute to our shared service culture and the vital relationships we share with our stakeholders.

The Service Excellence Competency Framework outlines the six competencies for service staff and leaders at the University of Alberta to deliver effective service. Excellence in service delivery also requires broader transferable skills and behaviours not explicitly included in the Framework, such as flexibility and communication.

Service Excellence Self-Assessment Tool

Growing your ability to demonstrate workplace competencies is a lifelong journey that requires purposeful self-reflection. The Service Excellence Self-Assessment Tool asks you to reflect on your capacity to demonstrate key behaviours across the six competencies. In completing the Self-Assessment, you will consider your strengths, areas for growth, and develop an action plan with your supervisor.

Service Excellence Training Program

The Service Excellence Self-Assessment tool works in conjunction with the Service Excellence Training Program (SETP). SETP is an online learning program designed to support service staff and leaders to develop the core competencies needed to provide service at a high level, and to support an empowered and user-focused culture.

The program combines self-paced learning with live virtual sessions. Participants are encouraged to complete the Service Excellence Self-Assessment Tool as part of module 1 before attending the Live Application Session.

Service Excellence Competencies

Role-Specific and Technical Skills
Role-specific and technical skills relate to the specialized knowledge, theory, methods, and practices needed to carry out the unique work assignments for a role. This competency is demonstrated differently according to the requirements of a position as outlined in the job card/job fact sheet/position description.
Service Orientation
Service orientation is demonstrated through genuine attentiveness to understanding and meeting clients’ needs while balancing organizational priorities and capacities. Whether supporting transactional processes or complex strategic solutions, service providers need to keep clients’ needs in mind and build relationships based on care and respect. This competency is demonstrated when team members act in alignment with U of A service excellence principles.
Problem Solving and Innovation
Problem solving and innovation involves anticipating opportunities and challenges, thinking critically, and taking the steps required to make good decisions and develop/implement innovative solutions. Staff work to solve problems for clients by accurately identifying their needs, coaching and guiding clients to solve problems themselves when possible, and providing referrals when appropriate.
Personal Effectiveness
Personal effectiveness is demonstrated through positive personal strategies for holding oneself accountable to commitments, as well as for actions and behaviours. It involves learning from our own experiences, including difficult service interactions. This includes coping and wellness strategies, self-development, and establishing relationships that enhance performance and achieve desired results.
Working with Others
Working with others requires interacting in a way that reflects an understanding of the interdependent and interconnected nature of the organization. This competency is reflected through working on, and across teams, as well as with internal and external stakeholders. This may include sharing information, leveraging the strengths and expertise of others, and collaborating to meet clients’ needs. Working effectively with others provides consistency, leverages team and organizational strengths, shares the workload, and helps to resolve client issues most effectively.
Process Excellence
Process excellence involves the continuous improvement of the way work is done. It aligns people, tasks, processes, and technology to enhance efficiency and meet the requirements of the end user. This requires clarity regarding role responsibility, identifying the requirements of each step of a process, finding ways to reduce duplication, eliminating low-value activities, and identifying and resolving the root causes of process delays and bottlenecks.