Recent years have seen the development of a plethora of approaches to competency assessment. While many serve a purpose, it is arguably not that of meeting long-term business objectives. In this article, I hope to dispel some of the confusion which has arisen and to strengthen the case for a strategic approach to competency assessment. I have begun with a comment on the development of the management training and development market in the UK, which leads into the inception of the concept of competency assessment in the UK. Linked to the comment on the development of the management training and development market is an explanation of why I believe a strategic approach to competency assessment is the only route to take if real business value is to be gained. An outline of the approach is given, explaining how the output can form the basis of an organization's human resource development strategy.