So how do you evaluate your employees’ knowledge, skills, and abilities?

My Post (15)Employees’ professional profiles are primarily the sum total of their knowledge, skills, and abilities – often abbreviated simply to KSA. But how do you evaluate your employees’ knowledge, skills, and abilities in practice? And what tools are available to help? Here’s how to do it!

KSA explained

The abbreviation KSA stands for knowledge, skills, and abilities. They form a major part of an individual’s personal and professional profiles.


Knowledge is primarily theoretical in nature. If you’re knowledgeable about a certain subject, then you’ve acquired a lot of facts and mastered the concepts and theories underlying the topic in question. We usually gain knowledge from information sources such as books, journals, internet, or traditional classroom-style courses and lectures.


Skills are primarily more ‘practical’ in nature than knowledge. They’re rooted in knowledge, but are generally acquired by means of training courses and work experience. A skill is the ability to perform a certain task or role competently and relates to application of knowledge in a particular situation or context.


Abilities are very similar to skills in many respects. However, there are important differences. An ability is broader – a combination of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and other personal traits.

About KSA

The sum total of knowledge, skills, and abilities define a role or job title. Does a candidate or employee have the right KSA combination for a specific opening? Using the KSA model, you can see quickly and clearly if the right person is in the right role/job.

The US government still regularly uses the KSA concept, especially at a federal level, to recruit suitable staff, using a scale from 0 to 100. A score of 70 is generally a minimum requirement to be eligible for a job opening or role.

Nowadays, the model is primarily used to map and analyze the success of, and necessity for, a particular training program. In other words, a useful tool for identifying potential skills gaps and finding concrete solutions.

How to evaluate knowledge, skills, and abilities

You can evaluate each of the three KSAs, assuming you have the right tools and adopt the right methods. It’s high time we looked at exactly how to evaluate these three components. – Read more

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