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Futureproofing your career with the Global Capability Framework

By Crispin Thorold, CIPR International Committee Member who has worked in more than forty countries leading the communications for global not-for-profits and international organisations. (March 2022, Toronto)

Do you have a good sense of your professional capabilities? Do you know the areas in which you excel and those which you should develop? And, if you’re a comms lead, do you know where the gaps are in the teams you manage? And, how their skills compare to other comms teams around the world.

According to Emeritus Professor Anne Gregory, one of the first places a communications professional should turn for the answers to these questions is the Global Capability Framework. This deceptively simple model, which was launched by the Global Alliance in 2018, is a first for our industry. It scopes the role of the modern-day comms professional and sets an international benchmark for professional practice.

The framework was developed under the direction of Professor Gregory, after two years of research by an international team of academics who worked with practitioners across every continent. Professor Gregory explained the model and the interactive software that accompanies it to CIPR international members in March 2022.

“The PR profession is a global profession and yet [we didn’t] have a global benchmark that scopes our profession in a way that we all understand it”, said Anne Gregory. “The Global Capability Framework was developed to give us a common perspective of what we do in our public relations professional work around the world.”

The Global Capability Framework remains the only professional framework for the industry. It was developed to be common to all parts of the world, while reflecting cultural and regional variations in the PR profession. The framework is forward-looking and highly practical. It has also been developed to rigorous academic standards.

At its heart are 11 areas, which allow the capability to be assessed at any level within the organizational hierarchy. The capabilities are grouped into three categories:

· Communication Capabilities

· Organizational Capabilities

· Professional Capabilities

Each capability also includes up to four sub-capabilities.

Supporting the Global Capability Framework is some very simple-to-use software, which allows you to assess individual and team capabilities right now and where would you like them to be at a point in the future. You can assess the 11 capabilities, or even all 32 sub-capabilities, each on a scale equivalent to 1-10. The software then creates a helpful visualization of your unique capabilities. It can also layer different team members over one another for a team profile.

“I have seen this used really well in appraisals”, said Anne Gregory. “The value of this is that it uncovers some really rich discussion points between you and your manager, or with your mentor. And discussions between teams and their leaders as they begin to engage with this capability framework.”

Since its launch, the Global Capability Framework has been used by practitioners to review their own / team strengths, to plan their own / team development, to draft job advertisements, to prepare for appraisal or promotion, to argue for more responsibilities, and to set long-term career goals.

The Global Capability Framework software is free to use for CIPR members and is available at

You can watch the CIPR International seminar with Professor Anne Gregory here:


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