212473 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System: Using SOC to help define and count public health professionals

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 1:00 PM

Henry Montes, MPH , JHM Consultation, Potomac, MD
Enumeration of the public health professions has been a continuing challenge for the public health field. Studies have attempted to provide methods that give an approximation of various selected public health disciplines, but getting a handle on the full range of public health professions continues to confound the field. An accurate enumeration of the public health professions is important to determine what it will take to address the needs for doing the job of public health so that federal resources for supporting public health professionals can be better and more effectively targeted. Along with enumerating public health professionals, it is critical that there is agreed upon definitions of essential functions within the positions described as public health professions. A biostatistician in California should have the same essential functions as a biostatistician in Maine. So how do we capture such comparative functions? The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system used by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics is a federal attempt at this effort for all occupations being classified. The SOC system was developed in response to a growing need for a universal occupational classification system. Such a system would allow government agencies and private industry to produce comparable data. It is designed to cover all occupations in which work is preformed for pay or profit, reflecting the current occupational structure in the United States.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of being able to enumerate the public health professions Explain the use of the SOC system to determine how to search for the definition of thier respective public health professions. Discuss ways of examining the SOC used definitions for public health professions with colleagues to see what changes should be made to the SOC.

Keywords: Workforce, Training

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a member of the Education Board I have experience working with public health as well as serving on accreditation reviews for public health schools and agencies
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.