Skip to main content

What is Capability?

"Capability" refers to the skills, ability, aptitude and knowledge we have in relation to the job that we are employed to do. Lack of capability will in most cases lead to unsatisfactory performance in a job role role which in turn is likely to cause problems for both managers and employees.

We recognise that very few people choose to perform their work badly, make mistakes, fail to complete tasks or have poor relationships with colleagues or patients.

If a member of staff is underperforming, appropriate action should be taken by the manager to examine the circumstances and give support to them to improve to the required standard of competence.  Delaying or doing nothing may cause the performance problem to escalate unnecessarily!

The difference between capability and conduct

The first step in managing underperformance is to identify the most significant issue/s and determine whether it is capability or conduct.  This will help to ensure that the most relevant policy is followed and that appropriate steps can be put into place.  This is not always straightforward or clear cut, and capability and conduct issues can sometimes get confused.    To help you with we have listed some of the key differences - click on the image for a printable version:


Capability vs Conduct


It is important to recognise that sometimes poor performance is not due to an employee's skills, ability, aptitude and/or knowledge.    In this cases it may be appropriate to refer to another Policy or Procedure.


alternatives to capability v2

Follow us: