By Skills

I’ve used the Global Alliance Capability Framework to create a self-assessment tool to guide learning and development.

As we head towards the end of the year it’s a good time to think about personal development and your personal development goals for 2021.

Job specifications typically set out the skills needed for a role and are the start point for a performance review. If you’re self-employed you’ll have your own personal plan.

In addition, I recommend using the Global Alliance Capability Framework as a means of benchmarking skills and setting goals.

The framework was published in 2018 and was developed as part of a two-year project led by Professor Anne Gregory and Dr Johanna Fawkes at the University of Huddersfield. The research team partnered with academics, professional associations and employers in eight countries across six continents.

The Global Alliance Capability Framework sets out three high level capabilities for a professional communicator. Each high-level capability is broken down into 11 capabilities, that are then split into 37 sub-capabilities.

You can download the complete capability framework and individual frameworks from the University of Huddersfield (opens as a PDF).

Communication Capabilities

1. To align communication strategies with organisational purpose and values

2. To identify and address communication problems proactively

3. To conduct formative and evaluative research to underpin communication strategies and tactics

4. To communicate effectively across a full range of platforms and technologies

Organisational Capabilities

5. To facilitate relationships and build trust with internal and external stakeholders and communities

6. To build and enhance organisational reputation

7. To provide contextual intelligence

Professional Capabilities (those expected of any professional)

8. To provide valued counsel and be a trusted advisor

9. To offer organisational leadership

10. To work within an ethical framework on behalf of the organisation, in line with professional and societal expectations

11. To develop self and others, including continuing professional learning

The University of Huddersfield team working with the Global Alliance has produced an online assessment tool for individual practitioners, team leaders and employers that benchmarks performance against each of the 11 capabilities.

It is designed to encourage professionals to identify the capabilities they would like to develop and access resources to assist in these goals. If you’re a member of a professional association that is a member of the Global Alliance, you’ll be able to get access. In the US, the PRSA is using the framework as an organising principle for its learning and development content.

Self-diagnostic tool for individuals

I’ve used the Global Alliance framework to build a self-diagnostic tool for individuals. It sets out the 11 capabilities and 37 sub-capabilities in a Google Sheet.

“This is exactly the way the Global Capability Framework should be used – to open up conversations about current and future development across the full spectrum of contribution that we as a profession can make. It has real value because it’s an independent and global benchmark,” said Professor Anne Gregory, University of Huddersfield.


I use this tool with individuals that I coach and agency teams. Individuals score their aptitude from 1-5 and their enjoyment of a capability from 1-5. The form turns each score into a traffic light. The key tab shows the key. It’s a useful means of visualisation.

The completed form provides the basis for a discussion alongside an individual’s goals, and those of an organisation.

Here’s a link to a Google Sheet version of the tool. It’s locked down to prevent it being overwritten but you can download a copy as a Spreadsheet if to select File > Download.

I hope that you find it useful. Let me know.

I support agencies and communication teams as a non exec or professional adviser but offer a limited number of one-to-one mentoring slots each month. Please get in touch if I can help you.

This content was originally published here.

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