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Definition of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge. An organized body of information, usually of a factual or procedural nature

Skills. The proficient manual, verbal, or mental manipulation of data, people, or things

Abilities. The power to perform an activity at the present time

KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities and Other Characteristics)

Knowledge – An organized body of information, usually of a factual or procedural nature, which if applied, makes adequate performance on the job possible.

Examples include knowledge of:

  • Administrative practices

  • Budget and accounting principals

  • Federal Regulations and Directives

  • Operational systems and procedures

  • Environmental Compliance Law

Skill – The manipulation of data, things, or people through manual, mental or verbal means. Skills are measurable through testing, can be observed, and quantifiable. Often referred to expertness that comes from training, practice, etc.

Examples include skill in:

  • Electronic or computer repair

Effective KSA Writing

Revised June 5, 2006

Page 5

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