An intro to the new skill development resources

Brett Zawadiuk, Cynthia Munro - 29 July 2021

Service Provider Skills Framework and Self-Assessment Resources

Building a new service culture requires engagement and purposeful contribution from everyone in the organization. This framework is intended to help new and existing employees, supervisors and managers determine the key skills required to be successful in the new structure, and to identify development opportunities to support employee transitions into their new units. Development conversations are an important part of the onboarding process for all employees, and are also crucial as part of regular, ongoing supervision.

Since our new structure is intended to improve efficiencies and enhance services, a set of six competencies has been identified as most important for providing service and adapting to the new structure. The framework includes:

  • Definitions of the six key University of Alberta for Tomorrow (UAT) competencies¹, with examples of desired observable behaviours:
    • Job-specific/technical
    • Problem-solving and innovation
    • Personal effectiveness
    • Service orientation and client focus
    • Working with others
    • Process excellence
  • A self-assessment, to enable individuals to identify their strengths and areas for future development
  • Development planning tools for individuals and supervisor/managers
  • A range of professional development options for each competency

The Skills Framework and Self-assessment can be accessed through an interactive eClass site or as a Google document. These resources support the establishment of a consistent set of basic expectations for all service roles. We encourage managers and supervisors to make time for supportive conversations with staff members to explore the competencies and how they may apply in the specific context of your unit, its services and employee roles.

It is important to approach conversations with staff based on the assumption that staff will already be competent in many areas, rather than beginning with a deficit mindset. There are many high-performing employees who are eager to continue to demonstrate and contribute their strengths, and these experienced staff members can be instrumental as peer coaches for brand new employees to the organization. The framework provides concrete ways that employees can clarify expectations, enhance their performance, and contribute to building the University of Alberta for Tomorrow.

Utilizing the Resources

If you are onboarding a staff member to a service provider or service leader role, on their first day you can introduce them to the UAT skills framework self assessment and UAT skills framework eClass. Users can engage with the tool that best suits their learning style and individual preferences. For assistance accessing the eClass site, please contact For additional resources for onboarding new and transitioning employees can be found, read the onboarding resources for new and tranisition employees article.

We are committed to continuous improvement, and these resources are works in progress. We will update materials on an ongoing basis, so revisit the Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment website for the most current materials when you onboard new employees to the institution, a role, or your team. Your feedback on the tools, as well as suggestions for new content, resources, and priorities, are welcome and can be shared through a Google form.

¹ Please note that the six UAT/Service Excellence Transformation (SET) competencies are only a starting point. The Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment competency-based development model includes an additional seven (7) competencies, some of which are included in the UAT Skills Framework as “related skills.”