Core Support: The Structure

In 2014, NACM set out to redevelop the Core Competencies that had served the court management community so well since 1990. This site is the result of that effort.

At launch, the new core is composed of 13 competencies spanning 20 discipline targeted to a field that is more professionalized and diverse than ever before.

Due to the fundamental changes in the way people interact with information since the 1990s, this updated Core was going to require a very different means of organization, a fundamental shift in the very structure of how the content is made available. If we couldn’t rely on a rigid narrative as we had in the past, how would you find your way around them?

With the help of Registered Creative, we came up with a new model for how to organize and navigate the competencies — a new way to think about them. Simply stated, the new architecture is an organic composition of Modules, Competencies, and Components.

It works like this:


Modules represent our coarsest means of organization. They can be considered categories — the most primitive means of organizing associated competencies. Each competency is in at least one of three modules: Principle, Practice and Vision.

While a visitor can work through each competency in the order dictated by the modules, they aren’t required to follow that path. In fact, there’s several features we’ve built into the interface of the Core to encourage more fluid and organic discovery. We’ll cover some of those in Part 2 of our support posts.


The first of the three modules is the Principle module. This module focuses on the fundamental and enduring principles that every person working in the courts should be knowledgeable of and demonstrate competency in, regardless of their position.

At the time of this writing, the competencies in the Principle module are:


The second of the three modules is the Practice module. It defines the competencies that a court leader should have to effectively perform both the day-to-day and long-term functions of the position.

At the time of this writing the competencies in the Practice module are:


The third of the three modules is the Vision module which details what a court leader needs to be able to do to effectively develop, manage and lead a strategic vision for the court.

At the time of this writing the competencies in the Vision module are:

Competency Structure

We’ve covered how to find your way to the competencies that interest you. What will you find once you get there?

The last version of the competencies focused on knowledge, skills and abilities. The latest version has shifted it’s structure to position competency information as relevance, application and related competencies.


Is an overview of the areas of court management a competency addresses.


The competency’s application is comprised of the key elements and specific descriptions of how individuals should apply this knowledge effectively.

Related Competencies

Finally, the related competencies are a list of competencies that could provide additional reading for similar areas.

This post is the first of three to help support the transition to the new competencies. Subscribe to our newsletter below to find out when the next—and other posts—are made.