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Core Competencies

As the fraternity/sorority profession evolves, so do the competencies needed to align the fraternity/sorority experience with the changing dynamics and enduring principles of higher education. In 2016, the Educational Resources Strategic Framework Workgroup recommended the Association revise and revisit the Core Competencies of the Profession.


Over the past year, a cross-section of professionals worked to develop the next step in the evolution of AFA’s Core Competencies. The results of their work are built on the following ideas:

  •  An Updated Taxonomy
    Two distinct types of competencies are important to AFA members: the foundational knowledge, skills, and ways of thinking that are unique to fraternity/sorority life, and professional skills that are essential to working in the field.
  • A Framework for Continuous Development
    Consistent with research and theory in competency-based education, the revised Core Competencies provide a framework to guide professionals in continuously developing new abilities throughout their career as they gain experience, take on new roles, and adapt to changes in the field.
  • A Progressive Structure
    Professionals move through multiple stages of development from awareness through practice towards expertise. Each professional develops different competencies at different rates and different times.
  • A Self-Guided Pathway
    The revised Core Competencies provide members with tools for prioritizing which abilities are relevant to their role, assessing their stage of development, understanding their own professional identity and fraternity/sorority experience, and mapping their own professional development pathway.
  • A Focus on Progress
    The ability to assess progress in accumulating the Core Competencies equips members and the Association with the tools to identify needs and develop strategies for helping more professionals gain more abilities in more of these areas over time.
  • An Opportunity to Adapt
    The Core Competencies are also expandable to incorporate new knowledge, skills, attitudes, and ways of thinking that may become relevant in the future.
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