Professional Standards in Operational Delivery

It is particularly important in the current economic climate that we all have the right skills to do our jobs well and work to a professional standard. 

Last updated - 4th April 2011

Professional Standards in Operational Delivery

Since the start of the programme, the Profession has focused on developing professional standards to give you a clear idea of what is expected of you at each level. This will help you in your current job, and in future roles. 

National Occupational Standards

The building blocks of professional standards are National Occupational Standards (NOS). These are used to describe the level of competence needed by an individual to perform their role effectively. These NOS are nationally recognised and apply across both public and private sector organisations. If you are working to these standards it shows that you have skills that can be transferred, recognised and respected across government, the private sector and the UK.

A set of NOS that support contact centre, processing and face-to-face roles has been agreed. The Profession uses these standards to develop qualifications and the profession’s competency framework.

If you are interested in the detail of the professional standards, we have developed a functional map for each strand, which provides the titles of each NOS. This will give you the broad headlines for the profession’s standards. The full NOS are also available online but these are quite long documents so we recommend looking at the functional map for each strand first.

Professional Competency Framework

The Operational Delivery Professional Competency Framework sets out the skills that you need to work in the Operational Delivery profession.

The Profession provides a wide variety of services including, processing customer transactions, handling telephone calls and working face-to-face with customers. The knowledge required and technical elements of these roles vary but the central professional skills are very similar. 

The framework is an important way of establishing standards and measuring performance and development. The competencies themselves are based on NOS, and are relevant to both within government and private sectors, which should make it easier to transfer across other departments or organisations.

The Operational Delivery Competency Framework will be available in April 2011.

You should use this document alongside the Professional Skills for Government (PSG) core skills or your departmental framework. The PSG or departmental framework outlines the common competencies needed by everyone working in the Civil Service/your department, whatever your profession. In discussion with your line manager you should select a combination of the appropriate common competencies (PSG/departmental) and professional competencies (Operational Delivery) for your role.  

Using the framework

If you are working in an Operational Delivery role, in any government department or agency, you should be using this framework to:

  • understand the professional skills and standards needed for your job or other jobs in operational delivery

  • measure and demonstrate the quality of your work, and support discussions with your manager/team about performance

  • inform your learning and development by identifying activities that you needed to achieve or maintain an appropriate level of competence

  • fill vacancies: managers should use these statements within job advertisements, to provide clear levels of competence expected by those working in the role. 

The structure of the framework


The Operational Delivery Framework gives you a detailed picture of current best principles and practices for Operational Delivery professionals. The framework is divided into two sections:

  • common competencies, applicable to all roles across the profession

  • functional competencies, applicable to specific functions within the profession.

The Common Competencies, relevant to all job roles include:

  • demonstrating professionalism which links to continuous professional development

  • promoting a positive image of the organisation which links to customer service

  • demonstrating job related knowledge which links to having the knowledge about the products and processes which we deal with.

The Functional Competencies relate specifically to roles in contact centres, face-to-face and processing environments.

You are not expected to demonstrate all of the competencies listed, just those relevant to your current post and level. In those circumstances where your role involves you performing tasks that fall across two or more of these strands, you will need to select (with your manager) the relevant functional competencies from each strand. Competencies, such as Leadership and Management are not included as these are already covered in the PSG competency framework.


The competency framework is not specifically linked to grades but is shown as three different levels. This reflects the varied range and depth of experience within Operational Delivery roles. In practice, the different levels broadly equate to the following grades:

The framework has a cumulative effect, so if you are operating at Level 2 you should also have a good understanding of, and be able to demonstrate, the related competencies expected at Level 1, and so on. 

NOS for Operational Delivery

A set of National Occupational Standards (NOS) that support contact centre, processing and face-to-face roles has been agreed.