Competencies Proficiency Scale

The NIH Proficiency Scale is an instrument used to measure one’s ability to demonstrate a competency on the job. The scale captures a wide range of ability levels and organizes them into five steps; from “Fundamental Awareness” to “Expert”.

In combination with the Proficiency Map for a specific occupation, an individual can compare their current level of proficiency to top performers in the same occupation.

This scale serves as the guide to understanding the expected proficiency level of top performers at each grade level.

Not Applicable

1 - Fundamental Awareness (basic knowledge)

2 - Novice (limited experience)

3 - Intermediate (practical application)

4 - Advanced (applied theory)

5 - Expert (recognized authority)

Note: The NIH Proficiency Scale was updated to facilitate the migration to the HHS Learning Management System.