Systems Engineering Competencies Working Group

Contributing Organisations

The ‘Systems Engineering Competencies Framework’ (Phase 1 Working Group) and ‘Guide to Competency Evaluation’ (Phase 2 Working Group) were produced from the output of a number of workshops which included representation from the following organisations:

  • BAE Systems
  • EADS Astrium
  • General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited
  • Loughborough University
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Thales
  • Ultra Electronics
  • University College London


Reason for Development

The Systems Engineering Competency Framework and Guidelines documents were developed in response to an issue identified by the INCOSE UK Advisory Board (UKAB). UKAB organisations wanted a common language with which to describe and discuss the competencies that are required to conduct good systems engineering.

The objective determined by the INCOSE UKAB was ‘to have a measurable set of competencies for systems engineering which will achieve national recognition and will be useful to the enterprises represented by the UKAB’.

It should be noted that the competency framework does require tailoring to meet the needs of individual enterprises and the focus of the document is on the Competencies of Systems Engineering rather than the Competencies of a Systems Engineer.

The systems engineering competencies developed are based on the following systems engineering standards:

  • International Standards Organisation ISO15288
  • Maturity Model Integration
  • EIA731
  • INCOSE Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge & Handbook
  • NASA Handbook
  • IEE/BCS Safety Competency Guidelines


The Guide to Competency Evaluation is designed as a companion to the Systems Engineering Competencies Framework document. It gives guidance on how to evaluate people against the competencies framework.

The Systems Engineering Competency Framework and Guide to Competency Evaluation are proving very useful to UK industry and academia.

Many organisations have tailored the framework and are actively using it to:

  • Identify individual’s and the organisation’s competencies in Systems Engineering
  • Identify learning and development opportunities
  • Select Teams
  • Standardise job roles and descriptions
  • Aid recruitment and direct interview questions
  • Develop Systems Engineering training


Current/Future Activity

Work is currently underway (Phase 3 Working Group) to update both the Systems Engineering Competencies Framework and the Guide to Competency Evaluation, with feedback received through use.