SAIT's Capability Framework outlines what our graduates and employees need to be successful in the world of work, both now and in the future.

We make sure everyone in our community has the industry-specific skills, knowledge, and attitudes — or, in other words, the technical competencies needed for any particular role. SAIT understands the importance of applicable skills, so we teach our courses and programs in a way that reflects real employer needs.

But there's more to a job than just pre-existing hard skills. You need to be able to engage and thrive in an ever-changing work environment. So, along with the technical skills emphasized, SAIT focuses on five important capability groups for its employees and students that will help everybody learn dynamically on the job, adjusting to changes as they happen. 

Being fast on your feet isn't just for those who have been born that way. SAIT works to foster your learning abilities through all the intentional learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom. And for our staff, we have a separate development plan with systems and processes to help them grow these same abilities.

What do we mean by...

Competencies: A combination of knowledge, skills, and attitudes reflected in job behaviours that can be observed, measured and evaluated.

Capabilities: observable human attributes demonstrated independent of context. They are universally applicable and timeless and underlie your ability to learn, apply and effectively adapt.

Five core tenants of SAIT's Capability Framework

SAIT's framework is quite straightforward and, when implemented, can help you tremendously in the workplace.

Graphic outlining the five cabability groups - creativity, critical thinking, citizenship, curiosity and connection.

Curiosity is a must for any career at SAIT or walk of life, as it sets you up for success no matter where you decide to put your energy. It's the constant questioning and the urge to explore and understand that'll get you far during your time at SAIT and life as a whole.

Don't just take everything at face value; ask exploratory questions, reflect on your biases, and welcome feedback. 

It may seem challenging initially, but if you buy into SAIT's Capability Framework and encourage curiosity in your life, you'll see real changes all around you.

Examples of skills, attitudes and behaviours linked to curiosity include:

  • seeking to understand by asking exploratory questions
  • demonstrating self-awareness by questioning one's own internal thinking, dialogue and biases (conscious or unconscious)
  • seeking feedback from others to learn and grow
  • engaging in reflective practice and continuous learning
  • recognizing that solutions to unstructured problems are complex and multidisciplinary in nature
  • openness to learning across fields of study, cultures, ideas and perspectives
  • constructively challenging conventional practices
  • remaining objective when listening to others’ viewpoints and staying open-minded
  • demonstrating a willingness to take informed risks
  • listening attentively when another person is voicing a point of view
  • coping effectively with change (demonstrating resilience)
  • demonstrating and encouraging divergent thinking
  • seeking opportunities to connect with a diverse range of people.

Creativity is the bridge that turns ideas into reality and fosters a willingness to experiment, improvise, and innovate. Creative minds embrace new possibilities and grow in ways that may not have been possible before. There is no singular "right" way to do everything, so a creative mind is almost always an asset.

However, at SAIT, creativity is more than big ideas. It can be resourcefulness, as creative minds thrive in uncertain situations, growing their skills whenever possible. But don't forget, even if you fail, it's just a setback, not the end of the world.

Examples of skills, attitudes and behaviours connected to creativity include:

  • cultivating and respecting other ways of knowing and thinking
  • using resources in unexpected ways and navigating scarcity
  • demonstrating a growth mindset
  • adaptability
  • demonstrating digital innovation with a digital skillset
  • using design thinking
  • challenging assumptions
  • offering suggestions to improve the way things are done
  • acknowledging undesired results/failure as a learning opportunity
  • building and scaling ideas.

Whether you're looking at life from a holistic view or just from the perspective of your career at SAIT, interpersonal connections are the cornerstone of building strong and effective relationships. Plain and simple, it's easier to work and communicate with others if you can bridge your differences and foster collaboration.

Moreover, social and emotional intelligence helps you to understand interpersonal dynamics, navigate emotions effectively, and succeed in the workplace. In essence, connection is the glue that binds most of us together, creating a foundation for a fulfilling work life and thriving social circles.

Examples of skills, attitudes and behaviours include:

  • demonstrating empathy and putting yourself in another’s shoes
  • showing social intelligence (understanding interpersonal dynamics and behavioural impacts of human interactions)
  • showing emotional intelligence (perceive, understand, use, and manage your emotions in positive ways to communicate, empathize, and overcome challenges)
  • engaging and communicating effectively with others across cultures, abilities, and generations (and other differences) using verbal, written and digital means
  • building relationships and teams through trust, transparency, alignment and empowerment
  • contributing to a safe team environment that is psychologically safe
  • collaborating with others to achieve common objectives as part of a growth mindset
  • being dependable and responsible and completing project/work tasks
  • adapting and flexing to meet the needs of others (for example, customer service) and demonstrating a desire to help or serve others.

Without critical thinking, we would all still be in the Stone Age, using sticks and fire instead of data and logic to solve our problems. Having the ability to analyze, evaluate and synthesize information is critical in the professional world as it'll help you tremendously during your time working for SAIT as well as your career as a whole.

Don't forget that new information can always be an opportunity for growth, not a threat. Critical thinkers readily adjust their ideas based on all the evidence, not just one side of the story, demonstrating intellectual humility.

Ultimately, critical thinking can bleed into all aspects of your life, fostering effective communication, allowing for collaboration with others and finding solutions to even the most challenging problems.

Examples of skills, attitudes and behaviours include:

  • having digital and information literacy skills (recognizing an information need, accessing, evaluating and assessing information for truth, accuracy and relevance, and using it effectively and ethically)
  • considering diverse local and global experiences and points of view
  • demonstrating a willingness to change ideas or perceptions based on new information or contrary evidence
  • synthesizing and interpreting information effectively
  • raising vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely
  • gathering and assessing relevant information
  • coming to well-reasoned, evidence-informed conclusions and solutions to problems, then testing them against relevant criteria and standards
  • being open-minded, recognizing and assessing your assumptions, biases, implications, and practical consequences
  • communicating effectively with others to figure out solutions to complex problems.

Citizenship may seem a bit vague at first glance, but think of it as the bridge that connects individuals, societies, and the planet, fostering a sustainable future for all. We all need to understand that we exist in a complex web of relationships and connections and that appreciating diverse perspectives will help everyone in the long run.

At SAIT, we encourage our faculty and students to champion equity, diversity, and inclusivity, fostering a sense of belonging and building strong, inclusive communities. Citizenship isn't passive; it's about actively engaging with local, global, and intercultural issues both in your personal and work life.

Overall, citizenship is about simply promoting societal well-being and finding common ground with your fellow person. It's a call to action, a reminder that we are all interconnected and have a role to play in building a better future for all. 

Examples of skills, attitudes and behaviours include:

  • appreciating the perspectives and worldviews of others
  • working across cultural boundaries by engaging in open, appropriate and effective interactions
  • encouraging equity, diversity, individuality and an inclusive community
  • modelling equitable and inclusive behaviours and mindsets and supporting an environment of trust
  • examining local, global, and intercultural issues
  • demonstrating ethical reasoning and respectful behaviour and upholding high moral standards at work (work ethic)
  • acting for collective well-being and sustainable development
  • having digital citizenship skills (using digital technology and media in safe, responsible, and ethical ways)
  • taking your external environment into account when developing strategies
  • anticipating the implications of decisions and actions (for example, the impact on others) and taking responsibility for the outcome
  • understanding how historical events have an impact on today’s decisions and how our perceptions today impact the interpretation of historical and current events
  • promoting societal well-being amidst different conceptions of the public good.

Real-world application

In the real world, you'll need a variety of skills and abilities to help you succeed, and with SAIT's framework, you get off to a great start. Showcasing your overall competency to your boss at SAIT or a potential future employer will go a long way toward your success in the long term.

The examples of the knowledge, skills and behaviours connected with each capability are not meant to be exhaustive, nor will they apply in every circumstance. For instance, a "willingness to experiment" might seem bad for jobs with strict rules where following procedures exactly is crucial. But in that same job, being open to trying new ways to organize your day to work better could be valuable.

SAIT understands the world isn't stagnant and that changes are always needed to keep information and skills relevant and effective. We practice what we preach and are always looking to improve. We will continue to fine-tune our framework over time. 

Using this plan, we'll work towards the goals of SAIT's strategic plans, including New World. New Thinking, the Intercultural Support Strategy, and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

Download SAIT's Capability Framework

a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.