Difference Between Capability and Competency (With Table)

Human Beings used to work for a longer time to achieve something. Before starting that work, we need to assess whether we have the ability to achieve or complete that work or not. It can’t be an easy task. It requires a lot of practice. Here both Capability and Competency will play an important role in your work.

Capability vs Competency

The difference between Capability and Competency is that capability requires ability, and competency requires skills and talents. You can apply capability in a complex environment. Competency is limited when it comes to applying it in the workplace. Both play an important place in your career.

Capability helps us to gain some skills which we could not have identified if we had not given it a try. Until we take the risk of starting something, we can’t discover our hidden talent and skills. Here again, Competency is combined with Capability before discovering our talents and skills. This will help them to discover more things. 

Competency shows the skills of an individual’s work. His knowledge of the area he worked. It will make him outstanding in front of other people. A person who has the ability to compete with others will always succeed. Here Capability is combined with Competency in terms of work. The work and the performance will be more satisfying at the end when compared with others.

Comparison Table Between Capability and Competency

Parameters of ComparisonCapabilityCompetency
DefinitionPossessing the ability to do the workHaving the skills and talents to do the work
ExamplesIn a project, he will discover his ability to workDecision Making, Solving the Problem, Communication Skills, Leadership Skills, and End Result
OriginIt is derived from the French word ‘capabilite’ and Latin word ‘capabli’.It is derived from the Latin word ‘competentia’
Performance in WorkplaceIt won’t require you to have a standard performance as it focuses mainly on the ability part.It requires you to have a standard performance.
KnowledgeTheoreticalKnowledge required for the workplace

What is Capability?

In simple words, Capability can define as that person has the ability to do something. Each and every person has the capability to do some work. Even if we discover any new machine or some working thing, the first thing we ask is whether it has the capability to do that task or not. It differs from person to person. We can’t predict our capability on any new activities until we perform that work.

We can also define capabilities as a set of skills or knowledge to perform a certain task. It would be good if schools include this as a part of student’s curriculum. Gaining knowledge in this subject will help them in the long run. This, in turn, will help them to become successful leaders, mentors, advisers, and good citizens.

Even teachers should possess some teaching capabilities. They should have a clear understanding of what they are teaching to their students. They are the primary responsibility for student’s knowledge. Teaching in a calm and effective manner will come under teaching capabilities. 

There are 7 types of capability as Capability of Literacy, Capability of Numeracy, Capability of Information and Communication Technology, Capability of Creative and Critical thinking, Capability of Personalising and Socialising, Capability of Ethical Understanding, and Capability of Intercultural Understanding. 

What is Competency?

In simple words, Competency can be defined as the person’s ability to do the work successfully and efficiently. You are expected to work with complete knowledge about the work. Your end result should reflect the talent and skills of your project or your work. There are many ways to approach competency. Doing complete research about your work before you start. 

We can verify competency by prior learning. If you expect something to learn beforehand, then start by investing your time in learning that new skill. It will reduce your workload and time. Try and check what all the things to be developed in the area you are working on are. It is more important. Sometimes you will be required to compete with other teams. In that case, your skills and knowledge play a major role.

The main work here is your task. You could have been assigned as a team leader. Then you have the responsibility to manage your team well. A small mistake from your side will cause lots of discrepancies in the future. It can be broken down into each task, and each task will be again broken down to each skill. To achieve your work, you have to perform at an unbelievable level.

Main Differences Between Capability and Competency

  1. Capability defines the person’s ability. But Competency is a revised version of capability as it contains all that is needed for that work.
  2. Capability is often viewed by people in a general way while they view Competency in a more specialized way.
  3. The capability will improve us more in achieving what we aim for. It will stand as a pillar for our goal. Competency helps us to find it in a better way to achieve that end result.
  4. These two words are often given importance when you appear for a job interview. The company will look for both the Capability and Competency skills of an individual.
  5. Capability focuses more on the future needs and trends, while Competency focuses only on the current needs and trends.


Both Capability and Competency are important for our work. The capability will help us to find the ability that we possess for that work. On the other hand, Competency will showcase our skills and talents in that work. In simple words, we can’t ignore either of them. These things play with human abilities. It will help us to find what we are lacking and the things that we are doing in the wrong way. 

Capability is more important when you work in a big environment or organization. Make sure you have the skills and talents to do that work. Competency will help you in finding that.


  1. https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/246123/the-capability-and-competency-requirements-of-auditors-in-todays-complex-global-business-environment
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6703095/

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