Developing a Competency Standards for Filipino Librarians by Fe Angela M. Verzosa
Developing a Competency Standards for Filipino Librarians
Fe Angela M. Verzosa
In line with the Aquino Government’s overarching goal to invest in the country's human
resource to make them more competitive and employable, the Professional Regulation
Commission (PRC) is fast-tracking convergent action on the conduct of a multi-sector
consultation on the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) and the ASEAN Qualifications
Reference Framework AQRF).
"The PQF was developed to establish a coherent national and internationally- benchmarked
structure for all qualifications awarded in the Philippines. All qualifications listed on the
framework are quality assured so that there may be national and international confidence not
only in the academic and skill standards and their vocational relevance, but also in the quality
of teaching, assessment, and the valid awarding of the officially recognized Philippine national
qualification," as explained by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in an article here
The ASEAN Regional Qualifications Framework (ARQF) aims to benchmark and improve
higher education by exchanging information in order to promote adoption of best practices on
standards and qualifications, and to come up with similar standards throughout the region.
The consultation seeks to prepare Filipino professionals for the 2015 ASEAN Economic
Community by having a deeper understanding on the concept, principles, and processes of
the PQF and ARQF, with the ultimate goal to enhance the quality of professionals, promote
their competitiveness, and support their mobility across the ASEAN region and elsewhere.
As part of these initiatives, PRC Chair, Hon. Teresita Manzala, who has consistently stressed
the importance of preparing Filipino professionals for the FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) by
the year 2015, is urging the creation of roadmaps of competitiveness in every field of
professions, a roadmap that is customer-focused, with high value-added product and
In line with this initiative, the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians conducted a
consultative workshop for the formulation of standards and competencies for the library
profession, with the end in view of developing a National Competency-based Standards for
Librarians (NCBSL), using as the frame of reference Dr. Numeriana M. Villareal’s doctoral
dissertation entitled, A Proposed Competency-based Standards for Librarians.
The first consultative workshop held on July 5, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the
National Library of the Philippines, was attended by the members of the Board for Librarians,
Chairman Corazon M. Nera, and members Arabella M. Ananoria and Mila M. Ramos, the
Director of the National Library, Atty. Antonio M. Santos, presidents of library organizations
led by the Philippine Librarians Association’s President Elizabeth R. Peralejo, library school
faculty led by UP School of Library and Information Science Dean Johann F. Cabbab, Dr.
Juan Buenrostro, and Dr. Teresita H. Calma, and about forty (40) librarians representing their
academic, public, special, and school libraries.
Among the initial agreements reached during this meeting were as follows:
1. The competency-based standards to be adopted and prescribed shall define the core
(or basic) competencies (of skills and knowledge) to be possessed by a professional in
the practice of librarianship as embodied in RA 9246.
2. While the body agreed to determine the scope of the competency-based standards in
the introduction to the working document after it has been finalized, the term
competencies to be used in the working document shall be defined as “the
knowledge, skills, and abilities that define and contribute to the performance in a
3. The core competencies shall be divided into two main groups: PROFESSIONAL and
PERSONAL, following the SLA model.
4. The Professional Competencies shall be formulated into model statements following
the four domains under the SLA model, while Personal Competencies will be based on
other sources in addition to the Villareal thesis, namely: SLA’s Competencies for
Information Professionals of the 21st
Century and Competency Index for the
Library Field compiled by WebJunction, as shown in the tables below:
5. The body was grouped thereafter into 5 to formulate the competency statements for
the following domains:
Group 1 - Managing information resources under Dr. Juan Buenrostro as
Group 2 – Managing information services under Susan Pador as team
Group 3 – Managing information tools and technologies under Ed Quiros
as team leader
Group 4 – Managing information organizations under Salvacion M.
Arlante as team leader
Group 5 – Personal Competencies under Chairman Corazon M. Nera as
The groups were encouraged to make use of other competency models to further
complement the three sources upon which the domains were based. The group leaders were
tasked to submit their working papers to the National Competency-based Standards for
Librarians (NCBSL)Task Force Coordinator (this writer) for consolidation, editing, and review
prior to submission to the Board for Librarians, and before a resolution to this effect will be
submitted to the Commission proper. As envisioned, the adoption and prescription of a
NCBSL will be a significant part of the BFL Competitiveness Roadmap.
The draft of the Standards prepared by the five groups were presented again for discussion
and review last September 5, which was attended by the Board for Librarians, the Director of
the National Library, and this writer as the NCBSL Task Force Coordinator. Also participating
in the deliberations were librarians/ representatives from the different library sectors and
The first to be presented, and by consensus approved in principle, was the Personal
Competencies Statement drafted by the members of the Board of Librarians. According to
BFL Chair Mrs. Nera, the group relied heavily on the Competency Index for the Library
Field compiled by WebJunction to describe the domains and formulate the statements. This
is the Competency Index for the Library Field compiled in June 2009 using various
competency sets (from ALA, SLA, PLA, library associations in California, Kansas, New
Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, etc), and supported by OCLC, Dublin, Ohio. (see sample tables
The other groups’ presentations will be subject to more inputs, deliberation, review and
finalization before submission. Meanwhile, it was agreed at the second consultative meeting
that the draft presentations will be disseminated online through various social networking
media for discussion and feedback. Hopefully, other avenues for open discussion will be
explored and availed of, and more inputs may be generated from other interested groups or
Because librarianship as a profession is viewed as dynamic and continually evolving, the
NCBSL Task Force views the final document to be presented to the Commission as a guide
to a career-long learning, and therefore, is subject to periodic review and re-assessment.