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.

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.

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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.

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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 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 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

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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25 thoughts on “Capability vs Competency: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison table is especially helpful in providing a quick reference for understanding the differences between capability and competency. The focus on performance and knowledge is illuminating.

    • I found the practical examples in the article to be particularly enlightening. They shed light on the application of these concepts in real-life scenarios.

  2. The examples and explanations provided in the article offer a comprehensive understanding of capability and competency. It underscores their relevance in different contexts and their influence on knowledge and performance.

    • I completely agree. The article effectively articulates the significance of capability and competency in both personal and professional domains.

  3. The article effectively highlights the importance of capability and competency, especially in a work environment. It encourages individuals to assess their own skills and knowledge to improve performance.

    • I appreciate the emphasis on the application of capability and competency in the workplace. It’s an essential aspect of professional growth.

  4. The article distinguishes capability from competency with great clarity, emphasizing their respective roles and implications. The insights shared are invaluable for individuals seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge.

    • I found the section on understanding competency particularly enlightening. It illuminated the importance of complete knowledge and effective performance in work.

  5. The article’s explanation of capability and competency, supplemented by examples, offers a thorough insight into their significance for individuals and organizations. It highlights the importance of cultivating these qualities.

    • I concur. The article provides a comprehensive understanding of capability and competency, stressing their relevance for personal and professional growth.

  6. The article provides a comprehensive overview of capability and competency, highlighting their impact on individual growth and performance. The practical examples and insights enhance the understanding of these vital concepts.

    • I agree. The article offers valuable guidance on cultivating capability and competency for personal and professional advancement.

    • The detailed discussion on capability and competency offers invaluable insights into their significance. It enlightens the reader on their interconnectedness and implications.

  7. The article’s in-depth explanation of capability and competency, along with their practical implications, is thought-provoking. It underscores the need for individuals to recognize and cultivate these qualities for their advancement.

    • Indeed, the discussion on teaching capabilities and the 7 types of capability is particularly insightful. It extends the application of these concepts beyond individual growth.

    • I couldn’t have said it better. The article presents a compelling argument for the significance of capability and competency in various aspects of life.

  8. The distinction between capability and competency has been highlighted in a clear and concise manner. It’s crucial for individuals to recognize the role of both in their personal and professional development.

    • I couldn’t agree more. This is valuable insight that can guide individuals towards a more effective approach in their careers.

  9. The correlation between capability and competency in discovering one’s talents and skills is intriguing. It illustrates the interconnectedness of these concepts and their impact on personal development and performance.

    • Absolutely. The article provides valuable insights into the relationship between capability and competency, offering a comprehensive understanding of their significance in personal and professional contexts.

  10. The article does an excellent job of explaining the difference between capability and competency and how they each play a crucial role in a person’s work. It emphasizes the importance of training and experience in the development of capability and the application of that capability in building competency.


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