205966 Workforce knowledge and attitudes regarding the Council on Linkages 2008 revised Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals: Implications for accreditation

Monday, November 9, 2009

Suzanne R. Hawley, PhD, MPH , Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Harry K. Tweel, MD, FCCP , Cabell-Huntington Health Department, Huntington, WV
Drew Johnson, MBA , Center for Infectious Diseases, California Department of Public Health, Sacramento, CA
Rick A. Danko, DrPH , Centers for Program Coordination, Policy, and Innovation, Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, TX
With the February 2009 release of the Public Health Accreditation Board's (PHAB) draft agency accreditation standards, it is vital to develop nationally accepted core competencies for the diverse public health workforce.

In 2008, the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice (COL) proposed revisions to their widely-adopted 2001 public health core competency set. The COL invited public comment on the revisions, which excluded specific mention of the 5 basic public health sciences (behavioral and social sciences, biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental public health, health services administration) due to a lack of consensus on the issue.

To collect structured broad-spectrum feedback on the issue of including the 5 basic sciences in the revised COL competency set, we surveyed relevant ASTHO committees and groups as well as county-level public health practitioners in four states. Survey questions included demographics, awareness of the COL competencies, methods in which the competencies were utilized, and whether the 5 basic sciences should be named in the revised COL competencies.

Results from the 111 survey respondents reflected high recognition of the competency set, but only about half (54.5%) stated that they were likely to use them. More than half thought the 5 basic sciences were appropriate to all health professionals and should be included by name in the revised COL competencies; however, a large minority disagreed.

Implications of both positions are discussed. Recommendations are provided that take into account the target workforce demographics of PHAB and COL, in order best to support and improve workforce competency for accreditation.

Learning Objectives:
1. List the five basic public health sciences. 2. Discuss implications for agency accreditation of including the five basic public health sciences in a public health core competency set.

Keywords: Accreditation, Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I co-developed, administered, and analyzed the survey instrument for this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.