Core Humanitarian Competency Framework

This resource refers to the 2014 edition of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS). A more accessible CHS will launch in March 2024. To find out more about the updated CHS and transitional phase, please visit the CHS website.

Competent and well-managed staff are at the heart of an accountable and effective organisation and need to be equipped with the right skills and behaviours. The key issue is how organisations can support individuals to make this happen. In 2017, and as part of the Start Network/DFID-funded Talent Development Project (TDP), the CHS Alliance completed a review of the Core Humanitarian Competency Framework (CHCF) taking feedback from a wide range of stakeholders on the relevance and practical use of the CHCF in humanitarian organisations, and asking for recommendations for its revision.

The review affirmed that the CHCF is fit for purpose, adds value and is highly relevant for staff development and humanitarian efforts in general. Stakeholders also acknowledged that the CHCF as a generic competency framework in the humanitarian sector serves as a useful reference point. The review, however, also indicated that there was only low to moderate level awareness and hence corresponding lack of ‘know how’ of the CHCF and it was unclear how it links to career paths, how changes in behaviours can be identified and measured, and HR practitioners not being familiar enough with competency frameworks to guide project managers and field staff on how to adopt them.

Based on these findings, the Collaboration Centre for Recognition of Humanitarian Skills, Experience and Learning together with the CHS Alliance and with continued support from TDP launched a collaborative joint funded project. The project aimed to assist communities at risk or affected by crisis to receive the assistance they require from competent and well-managed staff and volunteers through the use of the CHCF and competency-based approaches to HR. Activities were primarily aimed at NGOs in Kenya, Jordan, Bangladesh, DRC and the Philippines aiming to provide the humanitarian sector with practical tools and a framework that would in turn lead to the delivery of high quality and accountable humanitarian interventions for the communities at risk or affected by crisis.

The revised and downloadable materials include:

  • Printable versions of the CHCF in English, Arabic, French, Tagalog, Swahili and Bengali.
  • A comprehensive ‘Guide’ for HR staff and Managers with practical steps to take when adopting the CHCF and/or competency-based approach to HR.
  • A shortened version of this guide in Arabic, French, Tagalog, Swahili and Bengali.
  • Four simple training modules (power point presentations with hand-outs) to further inform and train staff on using a competency-based approach to three main areas of HR.
  • A short animated video to introduce the CHCF in English, Arabic, French, Tagalog, Swahili and Bengali.
  • An additional guide that details how to ‘Integrate the CHCF with other competency frameworks’.