Intermediate and Detailed Work Activities (IWAs and DWAs) were introduced into O*NET v18.1 (March 2014).  They are updated on a rolling basis along with the rest of the elements of O*NET.

At Blue Mirror Insights, we consider IWAs as being particularly useful, as they can be considered to be representative of common and shared competences across occupations.  They are linked to lower level Detailed Work Activities (DWAs) and Tasks for more detailed analysis. They also carry importance (IM) scores1 for each occupation, which are derived from the underlying tasks. The importance rating comes directly from current job holders.

In a later blog, we will describe the utility of Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) and Complementarity calculations to find clusters of skills that work together to make people competent at the jobs they do.  As a preview of this, see the figure below.  This uses RCA and Complementarity to find other IWAs, as well as the attendant skills, that have high levels of importance when related to the IWA “write material for artistic and commercial purposes”.

By using these measures, we can identify clusters of skills, abilities, knowledge elements and work activities that are critical to occupations and are transferable across occupations. We shall investigate this further in the following posts.

It is these clusters of skills that must be mastered in order for role holders to be competent and underpin their personal employability and career progression prospects. For example, identifying these clusters of skills for occupations impacted by AI will greatly help personnel to understand how the technology can augment rather than degrade their roles and employment prospects.

Notes

  1. For a definition of significance see this previous post.