Introduction to theme: digital twin competencies

Digital Twin Hub > Articles & Publications > Introduction to theme: digital twin competencies

Why this theme?

DT Hub activities focus on a set of thematic areas (themes) that are based on shared opportunities and challenges for members. These themes are areas where collaboration can help members to gain greater understanding and make more progress towards realising the potential benefits of digital twins.

This short introductory piece outlines the scope and approach for the second theme: Digital twin competencies:

To help organizations understand the competencies, skills and cultural considerations that can help them to successfully adopt digital twins, as well as fostering collaboration and making recommendations on the best way forward

Why did we identify this theme as priority? Each of the members we spoke to raised concerns about digital competencies within the built environment.  To maximize the value that a digital twin can bring to an organization, the different actors who might undertake digital twin related activities must have the necessary knowledge, skill, and authority to do so.

In other words, without a sufficiently competent set of individuals to realize the benefits, digital twins will be under-utilized.  In recognition of the built environment’s challenges with training and upskilling its workforce as well as the concern raised by DT Hub members, this has become a prioritized theme.


This theme will build on work being done through the National Digital Twin (NDT) programme Enablers stream and will develop ideas and recommendations based on real-world experience from members and from the wider market.  In addition, this theme will also help to test some of the underlying principles of the NDT programme which may influence future digital competency frameworks.

Engaging with this theme can help digital twin owners start to address questions like:

  • Who within my organization should interact with our digital twins?
  • How will they interact with digital twins?
  • What knowledge and skills are needed to undertake these activities?
  • What skills gaps do I have and what gaps are there in the built environment overall?
  • When looking to hire new staff who will interact with our digital twins, and what core competencies should I be looking for?
  • What cultural orientation is helpful to successful implement digital twins – what can I learn from others?

Related to the first bullet above, work has been started by some members to identify the types of actors that may interface with their digital twins. Building on this work, we plan to discuss and agree a schedule of “personas”, that broadly represent a suite of roles, and then build a profile of the competencies against each persona.


The main objectives for this theme are then to:

  • Identify a schedule of personas that cover relevant roles for a notional organization, ensuring sufficient flexibility and scalability.
  • Understand (from examples) what digital twin related activities each persona is expected to undertake
  • Using an industry recognised system such as the European Qualification Framework (EQF) to map knowledge, skill, and autonomy requirements to each of the relevant activities
  • Feedback learnings to inform into the development of the NDT programme Enablers work
  • Generate insight to potentially develop a digital twin competency framework

NOTE: It is acknowledged that organizations such as CITB are working on digital competency frameworks, and it is hoped that engagement with such activities is done via the Enablers stream. 

We’re already starting on the first set of activities for this theme and we are creating some content for you to dive into including:

  • A Webinar to discuss the theme requirements, including a broad discussion around persona and competencies.
  • Topics and posts to kick off conversation within the hub (for example a piece on competencies related anonymizing data) as well as links to interesting external sources based on this research. We are adding these to a dedicated forum for theme 2  
  • Research into interesting examples from other industries of approaches that consider digital competencies (coming soon – we will also add interesting links to the theme 2 forum)

What next?

There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved, including in activities to flesh out this theme. We want this to be driven by member’s views and priorities, so it would be great if you would comment on this post including to tell us:

  • Where you are seeing initiatives that could benefit skills development in the digital twin area
  • Use cases and in-house examples that might help inform this work
  • Specific competency activities you may be working on related to building knowledge and skills
  • Any views that you have on what digital twin competencies look like





Leave a comment