ASTD Competency Model


Foundational Competencies

Foundational competencies define relevant behaviors for learning and performance professionals.

The ASTD Competency Model presented the idea of foundational competencies. These foundational competencies are categorized as:

  • Interpersonal: how well you work with, manage, and influence people, policy, and change.
  • Business and Management: how well you analyze situations, make decisions, and implement solutions.
  • Personal: how well you adapt to change and make personal decisions to enhance your career.

Areas of Expertise (AOEs)

Areas of Expertise (AOE) is the second tier of the model and comprises specific technical and professional areas required for success across various jobs in the field. These AOEs are specialized areas that build and rely upon the focused application of the foundational competencies.

As part of the 2004 initiative to build a competency model for learning and performance professionals, ASTD identified nine areas of expertise, deemed critical for workplace learning and performance (WLP) professionals:


Roles are the top tier or execution level of the model. Roles are not the same as job titles. They are much more fluid depending on the work or project, and are the broad area of responsibility within the profession that requires a select group of foundational competencies (bottom tier) and select group of AOEs (second tier) to successfully execute. There are four defined roles, or lenses through which Workplace Learning and Performance (WLP) practitioners may view the model.

  • Learning strategist
  • Business partner
  • Project manager
  • Professional specialist

Roles are groupings of targeted competencies. An individual’s job may encompass one or more roles, similar to different “hats” that one might have to wear. Roles should not be interpreted as “titles.” A WLP professional may play one or more roles in his or her job.

To view the ASTD Competency Model, click here

Where do you fit into this model? Share your AOE’s and roles with us!


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