Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSA’s) Defined

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Knowledge refers to an organized body of information usually of a factual or procedural nature, which if applied, makes adequate performance on the job possible. A body of information applied directly to the performance of a function.

Skills refer to the proficient manual, verbal or mental manipulation of data or things. Skills can be readily measured by a performance test where quantity and quality of performance are tested, usually within an established time limit. Examples of proficient manipulation of things are skill in typing or skill in operating a vehicle. Examples of proficient manipulation of data are skill in computation using decimals; skill in editing for transposed numbers, etc.

Abilities refer to the power to perform an observable activity at the present time. This means that abilities have been evidenced through activities or behaviors that are similar to those required on the job, e.g., ability to plan and organize work. Abilities are different from aptitudes. Aptitudes are only the potential for performing the activity.

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