Capability vs Competency: Difference and Comparison

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.

Key Takeaways

  1. Capability refers to the potential ability to perform a task, while competency refers to actual skills and knowledge.
  2. Capability can be developed over time through training and experience, while competency requires both capability and application of that capability.
  3. Capability is a broader term encompassing various competencies required for a specific task.

Capability vs Competency

Capability is the ability and aptitude to perform a task. It shapes larger workforce and business planning tasks, like leadership development, recruitment, and resourcing. Competency is the measure of how a person performs a capability. It is used to support employee development and refers to their skills.

Capability vs Competency

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 talents and skills.


Language Quiz

Language quiz helps us to increase our language skills

1 / 10

What is a word or phrase used to describe or evaluate, often in a literary, artistic, or musical context, called?

2 / 10

She’s wearing a ________ dress.

3 / 10

What is the term used to describe a language that has evolved from a common ancestor?

4 / 10

What is the term for a word or phrase that has multiple meanings?

5 / 10

Fill in the blank. “Bad weather can ________ people’s ability to work.”

6 / 10

"I don't like coffee." "______ do I."

7 / 10

What is a language made up of symbols that represent ideas or objects called?

8 / 10

Ahmed is 65 kg, and Ali is 50 kg, so Ahmed is _ _ _ _ _ _ Ali.

9 / 10

Choose the correct word: The new __________ policy is not acceptable.

10 / 10

Choose the correct word: The problem was finally __________.

Your score is


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 in the end when compared with others.

Comparison Table

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 a person having 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 included 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 of 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 into 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 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 future needs and trends, while Competency focuses only on current needs and trends.
Difference Between Capability and Competency

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