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A Generic Competency Framework for Labour Relations Practitioners in the South African Public Service

Christian Thomas Botha, Cecile Schultz, Adéle Bezuidenhout


This article reports on the findings of a qualitative content analysis study that explored the generic competencies required of labour relations practitioners in the South African public service with a view to developing a generic competency framework for these practitioners. Data were gathered through conducting semi-structured interviews with 17 labour relations experts from different institutions. The data were coded and categorised, and themes were identified that characterised the participants’ experiences, perceptions and views, providing evidence about the competencies of labour relations practitioners. From the data, 44 competencies were identified that could be regarded as essential to labour relations practitioners’ successful and efficient fulfilment of their role, and these competencies were grouped into nine themes. A generic competency framework for labour relations practitioners was developed based on the results obtained. The findings of this study could potentially form the foundation of new theory for the advancement, training and development of labour relations practitioners.


labour relations; labour relations practitioner; competency; competency framework; qualitative content analysis

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