zGuide 6: Systems Engineering Competency Framework

Z 6

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Issue 1.0
March 2010


Systems Engineering Competency Framework

The Systems Engineering Competency Framework was developed ‘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 INCOSE UK Advisory Board’.

It provides a common language with which to describe and discuss the competencies that are required to conduct good Systems Engineering.

Does your organisation know what makes a good systems engineer?

The Competency Framework can help!

What are the Competencies based on?

The Systems Engineering Competencies developed are consistent with the following:

  • International Standards Organisation ISO15288
  • EIA632
  • INCOSE Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge & Handbook
systems model

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Systems Engineering Competency Framework

Using the Framework:

The Systems Engineering competency framework is generic in purpose. It can, and indeed should, be tailored before use. It can be applied in the context of an organisation, a project, an individual and/or a training programme.

The Framework describes the competencies of Systems Engineering rather than the competencies of an individual Systems Engineer. It is acknowledged that a well rounded systems engineer will need other competencies, knowledge, skills and abilities tailored to their particular role or area in which they operate.

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
  • Standardise job roles and descriptions
  • Aid recruitment and direct interview questions
  • Develop Systems Engineering training programmes


A Guide to Competency Evaluation is also available and is designed as a companion to the Systems Engineering Competencies Framework document. It gives guidance on how to evaluate people against the competency framework.

What are the Competencies?

Systems Thinking

  • Systems concepts
  • Super-system capability issues
  • Enterprise and technology environment

Holistic Lifecycle view

Determine and manage stakeholder requirements System design:

  • Architectural design
  • Concept generation
  • Design for…
  • Functional analysis
  • Interface management
  • Maintaining design integrity
  • Modelling and simulation
  • Select preferred solution
  • System robustness
  • Integration & Verification
  • Validation
  • Transition to operation

Systems Engineering Management

  • Concurrent engineering
  • Enterprise integration
  • Integration of specialisms
  • Lifecycle process definition
  • Planning, monitoring and controlling

For more information visit: www.incoseonline.org.uk

Leaflet prepared and published by the UK Chapter of the International Council on Systems Engineering. With contributions from Sandra Hudson (lead author) of General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited and the INCOSE UK SE Competencies Working Group

All queries should be addressed to the series editor Hazel Woodcock email: hazel.woodcock@uk.ibm.com

©2015 INCOSE UK Ltd & Association for Project Management