Management and leadership: a competency framework to deliver the National Trust's strategy

Martin Measures (Head of Training & Development with The National Trust, Swindon, UK)
Mike Bagshaw (Business Psychologist from Evesham, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Publication date: 2 October 2009



People need certain skills and behaviours to be effective at work, but if these are not defined, they can become lost in vague generalisations. Competency frameworks set out what is required, and act as a template to check performance. As times change, the competencies required may also change, and in 2007 the National Trust decided it was time for a thorough overhaul. This paper aims to focus on this development.


The process started with a survey, focus groups, and interviews with senior managers across the Trust. The authors then researched what was happening in other organisations, to find the problems and the successes, in order to design the best and most appropriate new competency framework.


It was found that there was a tension between immediate needs and building for the future, and a need for more collaboration between functions.

Research limitations/implications

Competency frameworks can be criticised as backward looking, concentrating on skills and behaviours that were needed in the past but not in the future.


The paper shows that the new National Trust framework addressed the issues involved, and became a dynamic process rather than a static template.



Measures, M. and Bagshaw, M. (2009), "Management and leadership: a competency framework to deliver the National Trust's strategy", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 41 No. 7, pp. 355-362.

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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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