OPM Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ’s)

OPM identified and adopted the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ)’s and their underlying leadership competencies in 1997.  Since the Service adopted the ECQ’s and their underlying leadership competencies, emerging and current leaders have expressed some frustration around the fact that there are numerous competencies and they may not be of the same priority to all leaders in all functional areas.  The priority of the competencies is situational, and often depends upon position, program, and organizational leadership level of the individual.  The Service recognized this concern, which led to the development and adoption of the USFWS Leadership Competency Development Model. 

The five executive core qualifications identified in this Model are based on extensive research done by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) of the attributes of successful executives in both the private and public sectors.  They were derived by lengthy collaboration, reflecting the best thinking of many senior executives and associations, as well as agency human resources professionals.

The five OPM Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ’s) are:

Leading Change

The ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals.  Inherent to this qualification is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

Leading People

The ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals.  Inherent to this qualification is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

Results Driven

The ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations.  Inherent to this qualification is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

Business Acumen

The ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

Building Coalitions

The ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.    

The ECQ’s are used by many departments and agencies in selection, performance management, and leadership development for management and executive positions.  Successful leaders address all five qualifications in their development and in carrying out their leadership responsibilities.  Experience and training that strengthen the leadership competencies will enhance a leader’s performance.  Employees interested in the mid-level, senior and executive leader levels should ensure they develop bench strength in leadership competencies that span across all five ECQ’s.  This is particularly important for leadership positions that have influence outside the Service.