Competency Mapping for Biotechnology
Bio-economy is a diverse, evolving industry. It continually needs a fresh infusion of knowledgeable and skilled professionals to advance scientific and technological development, support national economic growth, and improve the quality of life. The industry encompasses a wide range of subsectors such as bioenergy, natural resources, food processing, life sciences, human and animal health, nanotechnology, and more. Biotechnology’s research component requires scientists, technicians, and engineers with expertise in bioinformatics, bioproducts, clinical data research, animal care, and other areas. For commercialization purposes, experienced professionals in regulatory affairs, quality assurance, contract manufacturing project management, plant management, and other departments are in demand by the sector. This fusion of science and business in bio-economy demands from its workforce a special combination of technical and entrepreneurial skills. Companies in the industry have identified the “lack of candidates with required skill sets/experience” as a top recruitment challenge.
The Competency Group has worked with the sector council, BioTalent Canada, on projects requiring competency analysis and mapping for critical occupations in bio-economy. Our team produced competency profile scopes and descriptions for 10 occupations: Chief Executive Officer, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, Intellectual Property Officer, Vice President of Manufacturing, Clinical Research Data Specialist, Contract Manufacturing Project Manager, Bioinformatician, Animal Care Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, and Biofuels Plant Manager. We validated these competency profiles with industry experts across the nation. Our team also completed a skills gap analysis for these occupations, using the National Occupational Standards for comparison with the skills being taught in relevant Canadian university and college programs. The findings are intended to bridge the training gaps and match the skills requirements for biotechnology occupations. The project results and recommendations have been made available to the industry to facilitate workforce recruitment, development, and retention.
The Competency Group’s competency analysis and mapping of vital occupations in bio-economy have supported BioTalent Canada’s achievement of the following goals:
- Established competency profiles that are industry-defined and relevant to its unique needs.
- Provided online skills profiles and skills checklists with the full set of competencies that could be required for each occupation and the tasks associated with the functions. These tools are available for employers, job seekers, educators and students.
- Expanded its programs and services for recruitment and selection, resume building and job applications, professional advancement, career transition, skills development planning, developing appropriate curricula for educational and training programs, and other purposes.