I remember trying to do this in STC without getting too far. Now tekom, the European professional society, has taken a stab at defining the job duties of technical communicators.
I think they’ve done a pretty good job.
Start with the 7 areas of competence (pictured). These aptly describe, in broad terms, the tasks associated with each stage of the content lifecycle.
Then look at the 27 fields of competence. For example, Content Creation — one of the 7 areas of competence — breaks down into identifying information sources, acquiring and selecting information, using tools to create content, and so forth. You can see these 27 fields in the Profiling Tool, a self-assessment that anyone can take.
Why a competency model?
All of this is a lot to digest. But by and large it reflects our jobs pretty well. In cases where I might quibble with the tekom definitions, it could be because I’m steeped in my own industry and tekom has tried to make the lists industry-agnostic.
Tekom identified four major stakeholder groups for the competency model:
- Company managers and personnel departments, who draw up lists of job requirements
- Educational institutions that develop training programs and curricula
- People who want further education in Tech Comm
- Practitioners who want to enter the field or enhance their skills
But that’s not all. Continue reading