Competency Framework Overview

Why the Climate Action Competency Framework?

The complexity of climate change and the cross-functional and cross-sectoral nature of climate adaptation, mitigation and risk management requires a broad range of professions to integrate climate action principles and practices into their work.

Workers on the front lines of planning and implementing climate action policies, plans and strategies include:

  • financial analysts,
  • accountants,
  • engineers,
  • landscape architects,
  • architects,
  • agrologists,
  • biologists,
  • foresters,
  • city planners,
  • emergency managers,
  • buildings, transportation and infrastructure planners and technicians,
  • policy and decision makers in all levels of government,
  • all people whose work involves risk management. 

The emergent nature of climate risks and climate impacts, coupled with the speed at which risk and impacts are escalating, requires rapid upskilling and reskilling in the workforce.

Climate Action programming and upskilling courses require the Climate Action Competency Framework.

Use Cases

Employ the CACF v2 to identify necessary skills and skill gaps, and monitor performances.

The CACF v2 is designed to:

  1. Establish a shared understanding of climate action competencies necessary for either or both climate adaptation and mitigation
  2. Offer a practical, systematic road map or tool for individuals, organizations, teams and others wishing to build their climate literacy and climate action capacity
  3. Support recruitment, professional development, and objective assessments of climate action related competencies in climate action specific roles, or roles that require the addition of a climate lens.
  4. Guide and help shape behaviors that strengthen the capacity of individual’s, teams, organizations to meet the demands of climate change.
  5. Provide an evidence based foundation for curriculum design for education and training designers…..whether you are creating applied or professional programming, or rapid upskilling courses (e.g. micro-credentials). Industry input and an established competency framework such as the CACF should inform content, competencies, proficiency levels and related assessments.

Check out the CACF v2 by using the Competency Explorer.

Note about the CACF v2

The CACF v2 is a robust, evidence-informed tool grounded in Western cultural concepts and language and ways of working. Where possible, we have tried to foreground in the suite of competencies the importance of understanding other perspectives, worldviews, and ways of working, especially those of Indigenous peoples.

However, the CACF does not replace the need to understand and work with Indigenous conceptualizations of climate change, climate adaptation, ways of working, and the wisdom of Indigenous peoples.

Redesign Process

The CACF v2 was developing by the Resilience by Design Lab, led by Dr. Robin Cox. The framework is informed by research and the input of subject matter experts, and includes competencies related to both climate adaptation and climate mitigation.

The Climate Action Competency Framework (CACF v2) builds from and on the original Climate Adaptation Competency Framework (CACF) developed with funding from Natural Resources Canada: Building Regional Adaptation Capacity & Expertise (BRACE); The BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy; and Royal Roads integrate competencies associated with climate mitigation. The redesign includes a change in structure to align with evidence-informed principles and guidelines for open competency frameworks, and ensure the framework is more easily applied in a range of contexts.

The CACF v2 is licensed using a Creative Commons license to ensure widespread uptake and the potential for adapting the framework in multiple contexts.


We welcome feedback to inform the ongoing, iterative development of CACF v2. Click to provide feedback on CACF V2.