Nine New Competencies added to Clinger-Cohen Core Competencies and Learning Objectives

Published: January 23, 2013

IT WorkforcePolicy and Legislation

Last week, the CIO Council released an updated version of the Clinger-Cohen Core Competencies and Learning Objectives document. Nine new competencies were added which will inform federal IT workforce policy initiatives, as well as the basis for curriculum at educational institutions under the CIO University Consortium.

Part of the CIO responsibilities created by the Clinger-Cohen Act included developing strategies and specific plans for hiring, training and professional development of the IT workforce.  The first iteration of the Clinger-Cohen Core Competencies was published in 1997 to create a baseline of information resources management knowledge requirements. In 1999, learning objectives were added to identify the level of performance desired to be mastered within an academic environment.

Periodic reviews of the competencies help guarantee that new IT statutory and regulatory requirements, administrative strategies, evolving technologies, and changing agency IT and cybersecurity needs are included.


The announcement regarding the updated core competencies was made via blog post on by EPA CIO Malcom Jackson.  According to Jackson, new  competencies were added for IT governance, IT program management leadership, vendor management, cybersecurity/information assurance strategies and plans, social media, cloud computing, open government, information collection, and information accessibility.    


Twelve federal agencies, representatives from the CIO University Consortium, members of IAC, and the federally funded research community participated in the review process which was led and managed by the IT Workforce Committee of the CIO Council.

Additionally, individual learning objectives were mapped to the Office of Personnel Management’s Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) for the first time.  The mapping is provided to support multi-purpose leadership development for IT management and executive positions. 


The 71-page document also details the skills around everything from knowing how acquisition works, to cybersecurity roles to evaluating supply-chain risk management, as well as responsibilities, legislation, policy and reporting requirements.


Changes to the document will guide curriculum development to ensure that the federal IT workforce receives training necessary to equip them with the skills and competencies to evaluate and implement today’s technologies, comply with current IT regulatory requirements, and meet the administration’s most recent IT mandates.