Clinger-Cohen Core Competencies

The US federal government CIO Council has released an updated version of its Clinger-Cohen Core Competencies and Learning Objectives document, which is used as the foundation for IT course and curriculum development, as well as the development and consistent implementation of IT workforce policy initiatives across the Federal Government.

The Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 (also known as the Clinger-Cohen Act and now codified in title 40 of the United States Code) created a wide array of responsibilities for federal agency Chief Information Officers, including developing strategies and specific plans for hiring, training and professional development of the information technology (IT) workforce. In 1997, the first iteration of the Clinger-Cohen Core Competencies was published to create a baseline of information resources management knowledge requirements. Learning objectives were added in 1999 to identify the level of performance desired to be mastered within an academic or experiential environment.

Periodically, the Federal Government reviews this core body of competencies in order to ensure critical knowledge areas impacting information resources management are captured. Changes reflect new statutory and regulatory requirements, as well as areas requiring greater emphasis due to new policies and strategies (e.g., the recently released presidential strategy on Digital Government), continuous changes in technology, and other evolving agency IT/cybersecurity mission requirements. In 2012, new competencies were added for IT Governance, IT Program Management Leadership, Vendor Management, Cybersecurity/Information Assurance Strategies and Plans, Social Media, Cloud Computing, Open Government, Information Collection, and Information Accessibility. Administratively, references were updated and summarized in a separate appendix, and language was streamlined in accordance with the Plain Writing Act of 2010.

The review process was a collaborative effort among 12 federal agencies, academic representatives from the CIO University Consortium, and members from the Industry Advisory Council and federally funded research community and was led and managed by the IT Workforce Committee of the CIO Council.

The 2012 Clinger-Cohen Core Competencies and their associated learning objectives will be used as the foundation for IT course and curriculum development, as well as the development and consistent implementation of IT workforce policy initiatives across the Federal Government. This effort fulfills IT workforce management requirements set forth in Subtitle III of title 40 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) (Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996) and title II of Public Law 107-347 (E-Government Act of 2002, 44 U.S.C. 3501 note).

2012 Clinger-Cohen Core Competencies and Learning Objectives
The Clinger-Cohen Core Competencies reflect a core body of 12 competency areas identified by the Federal CIO Council as fundamental to the effective management of federal technology resources: Policy and Organization; Leadership and Human Capital Management; Process and Change Management; Information Resources Strategy and Planning; IT Performance Assessment: Models and Methods; IT Project and Program Management; Capital Planning and Investment Control; Acquisition; Information and Knowledge Management; Cybersecurity/Information Assurance; Enterprise Architecture; and Technology Management and Assessment. Each of the 12 competency areas has several subordinate competencies and all subordinate competencies have associated learning objectives.

The learning objectives form the foundation for curriculum development by the educational institutions offering approved programs under the CIO University Consortium umbrella. The objectives identify key concepts and capabilities to be taught and can also be used as a professional development guideline for both individuals and organizations. Each individual’s professional development roadmap can be achieved through a variety of methods, including formalized academic programs, mentoring, on-the-job training, professional details, and prior experiential assignments.

It is not expected than any one individual would master all management activities contained within these competencies. Areas of concentration would reflect individual job requirements, as well as personal development interests. Additionally, specific technical expertise outside the scope of these competencies may be required based on actual job roles. Federal Chief Information Officers should ensure that the knowledge, skills and abilities represented in each competency in this document are resident within their organization for overall staff productivity.

1.0: Policy and Organization
Competency 1.1 – Department/Agency missions, organization, functions, policies, and procedures
Competency 1.2 – Governing laws and authorities
Competency 1.3 – Federal government decision and policy-making processes
Competency 1.4 – Linkages and interrelationships between Agency heads and their Chief Executive Officers
Competency 1.5 – Intergovernmental programs, policies, and processes
Competency 1.6 – IT governance

2.0: Leadership and Human Capital Management
Competency 2.1 – Key CIO leadership attributes
Competency 2.2 – Professional development and career planning
Competency 2.3 – Competency performance and management
Competency 2.4 – Partnerships and team-building
Competency 2.5 – Personnel performance management
Competency 2.6 – Attracting, motivating, and retaining IT personnel

3.0: Process and Change Management
Competency 3.1 – Organizational Development
Competency 3.2 – Process management and control
Competency 3.3 – Quality improvement models and methods
Competency 3.4 – Business process redesign/reengineering models and methods
Competency 3.5 – Cross-boundary process collaboration

4.0: Information Resources Strategy and Planning
Competency 4.1 – IRM baseline assessment analysis
Competency 4.2 – Interdepartmental, inter-agency IT functional analysis
Competency 4.3 – IT planning methodologies
Competency 4.4 – Contingency and continuity of operations planning (COOP)
Competency 4.5 – Monitoring and evaluation methods and techniques

5.0: IT Performance Assessment: Models and Methods
Competency 5.1 – Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and IT
Competency 5.2 – System development decision making
Competency 5.3 – Measuring IT success
Competency 5.4 – Defining and selecting effective performance measures
Competency 5.5 – Evaluating system performance
Competency 5.6 – Managing IT reviews and oversight processes

6.0: IT Project and Program Management
Competency 6.1 – Project scope and requirements management
Competency 6.2 – Project integration management
Competency 6.3 – Project time, cost, and performance management
Competency 6.4 – Project quality management
Competency 6.5 – Project risk management
Competency 6.6 – System lifecycle management
Competency 6.7 – Software development, testing, and implementation
Competency 6.8 – Vendor management
Competency 6.9 – IT program management leadership

7.0: Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC)
Competency 7.1 – CPIC best practices
Competency 7.2 – Cost benefit, economic, and risk analysis
Competency 7.3 – Risk management models and methods
Competency 7.4 – Weighing benefits of alternative IT investments
Competency 7.5 – Capital investment analysis models and methods
Competency 7.6 – Business case analysis
Competency 7.7 – Investment review process
Competency 7.8 – IT portfolio management

8.0: Acquisition
Competency 8.1 – Acquisition strategy
Competency 8.2 – Acquisition models and methodologies
Competency 8.3 – Post-award IT contract management
Competency 8.4 – IT acquisition best practices
Competency 8.5 – Software acquisition management
Competency 8.6 – Supply chain risk management in acquisition

9.0: Information and Knowledge Management
Competency 9.1 – Privacy, personally identifiable, and protected health information
Competency 9.2 – Information accessibility
Competency 9.3 – Records and information management
Competency 9.4 – Knowledge management
Competency 9.5 – Social media
Competency 9.6 – Web development and maintenance strategy
Competency 9.7 – Open government
Competency 9.8 – Information collection

10.0: Cybersecurity/Information Assurance (IA)
Competency 10.1 – CIO Cybersecurity/IA roles and responsibilities
Competency 10.2 – Cybersecurity/IA legislation, policies, and procedures
Competency 10.3 – Cybersecurity/IA Strategies and Plans
Competency 10.4 – Information and information systems threats and vulnerabilities analysis
Competency 10.5 – Information security controls planning and management
Competency 10.6 – Cybersecurity/IA risk management
Competency 10.7 – Enterprise-wide cybersecurity/IA program management
Competency 10.8 – Information security reporting compliance
Competency 10.9 – Critical infrastructure protection and disaster recovery planning

11.0: Enterprise Architecture
Competency 11.1 – Enterprise architecture functions and governance
Competency 11.2 – Key enterprise architecture concepts
Competency 11.3 – Enterprise architecture interpretation, development, and maintenance
Competency 11.4 – Use of enterprise architecture in IT investment decision making
Competency 11.5 – Enterprise data management
Competency 11.6 – Performance measurement for enterprise architecture

12.0: Technology Management and Assessment
Competency 12.1 – Network, telecommunications, and mobile device technology
Competency 12.2 – Spectrum management
Competency 12.3 – Computer systems
Competency 12.4 – Web technology
Competency 12.5 – Data management technology
Competency 12.6 – Software development technology
Competency 12.7 – Cloud Computing
Competency 12.8 – Special use technology
Competency 12.9 – Emerging technology

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