Competence or Competency
Jaap de Jonge, Management Consultant, Netherlands
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
In my view, they are the same. In practice, you'll see both terms "competence" and "competency" used interchangeably. Although some people claim there is a very small theoretical difference.
In common day to day parlance, a COMPETENCE is a capability or a set of abilities or qualifications possessed by a person to perform a particular task successfully.
And a COMPETENCY is also the mental capacity or "characteristics—knowledge, skills, mindsets, thought patterns, and the like—that when used whether singularly or in various combinations, result in successful performance". Dubois, D. (Ed.) (1998), The Competency Casebook. Amherst, MA.
In Human Resources Management, a competency often refers to the description
of how things have to be done and at what level in order to successful perform a job.
THE OBJECT OF THE TERMS: PERSON OR AN ORGANIZATION
You normally find the terms used to indicate a capability of a PERSON, but in management (organizational development, strategy) we also use the term for a capability of an ORGANIZATION, at an organizational level. For example in the core competence