Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSA)

What are KSAs?

KSAs are knowledge, skills, and abilities that a person must possess in order to perform the duties of his or her position. KSAs are listed on each position’s job description and serve as a guide for applicants, employees, and departments to evaluate and assess a person’s likelihood for success in a job.

Knowledge – the subjects, topics, and items of information that an employee should know at the time he or she is hired or moved into the job. Knowledge represents bodies of information that are applied directly to the performance of work functions.

Skills – technical or manual proficiencies which are usually learned or acquired through training. Skills should be measurable and observable.

Abilities – the present demonstrable capacity to apply several knowledge and skills simultaneously in order to complete a task or perform an observable behavior. Abilities may also relate to personal and social attributes which tend to be innate or acquired without formal instructions. Abilities are enduring talents that can help a person do a job. 



  • Knowledge of office procedures and of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and arithmetic.
  • Knowledge of records administration and maintenance techniques and procedures.
  • Knowledge of inventory control principles and methods.
  • Skill in data entry with minimal errors.
  • Ability to accurately prepare and maintain records, files, and reports.
  • Ability to maintain records of materials, supplies, time, and work performed.


  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Skill in editing documents for correct grammar.
  • Skill in giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Skill in communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Skill in talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written form.
  • Ability to handle difficult and stressful situations with professional composure.
  • Ability to maintain effective interpersonal relationships.
  • Ability to understand and follow instructions.

Critical thinking & Problem-solving:

  • Skill in collecting and analyzing complex data.
  • Skill in analyzing and organizing technical data.
  • Skill in using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Ability to process information logically.
  • Ability to recognize, analyze, and solve a variety of problems.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment in making critical decisions.

Financial/Accounting & Budget:

  • Knowledge of generally accepted accounting procedures and principles.
  • Knowledge of budget control methods, policies, and procedures.
  • Ability to prepare financial and accounting records.
  • Ability to analyze, consolidate, and interpret accounting data.
  • Ability to compile, organize, interpret, and communicate accounting data and results concisely.
  • Ability to manage a budget and work within the constraints of that budget.

Managerial or Supervisory:

  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Skill in monitoring/assessing the performance of self, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Ability to plan, implement, and evaluate programs.
  • Ability to direct and organize program activities.
  • Ability to establish goals and objectives.
  • Ability to establish program goals and objectives that support the strategic plan.
  • Ability to effectively plan and delegate the work of others.
  • Ability to plan, assign, and/or supervise the work of others.
  • Ability to train others.


  • Skill in managing one’s own time and the time of others.
  • Skill in completing assignments accurately and with attention to detail.
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet close deadlines.
  • Ability to analyze, organize and prioritize work while meeting multiple deadlines.
  • Ability to analyze and prepare documents, reports, and correspondence.
  • Ability to process and handle confidential information with discretion.
  • Ability to review work for accuracy.
  • Ability to work evenings, nights, and weekends as necessary.

Adapted with permission from “Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Bank”