"Competencies" are measurable skill sets, knowledge or behavioral abilities that enable someone to be successful at something. Competencies are used in human resources to make employment-related decisions and in academic and training settings to evaluate students.
Competencies are grouped into three categories: knowledge, skill and behavioral. Knowledge competencies deal with the information a person has retained. An understanding of basic chemistry is a knowledge competency. Skill competencies cover a person's specific abilities. The ability to lift 50 pounds repeatedly and the ability to type 75 words per minute are both skill competencies. Behavioral competencies are more difficult to measure. Promptness and the ability to defuse tense situations are examples of behavioral competencies.