Online Program

Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals: Supporting a high-performing workforce

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Ron Bialek, MPP, Public Health Foundation, Washington, DC
Kathleen Amos, MLIS, Academic/Practice Linkages, Public Health Foundation, Washington, DC
The public health workforce is critical to the success of health departments and other public health organizations. As in any organization, the performance of public health organizations is closely tied to the competence of their workforce. Within the field of public health, skills desirable for professionals delivering public health services are detailed in the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (Core Competencies). This consensus set of competencies developed by the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice (Council on Linkages) exists as a foundation for the broad practice of public health and has been used by hundreds of health departments and academic institutions since 2001.

The Core Competencies can serve as a starting point for public health organizations trying to better understand the skills of their workers and strengthen performance. The Core Competencies have been used in developing job descriptions and evaluating performance, identifying and prioritizing opportunities for professional development, and creating workforce development plans. The Public Health Accreditation Board references the Core Competencies in setting standards for health department accreditation, and these competencies are included in the objectives of Healthy People 2020.

Key to maintaining a competent public health workforce is the periodic review of these foundational competencies to ensure they remain relevant and continue to reflect the reality of public health. Since the Core Competencies were last revised in 2010, changes such as implementation of the Affordable Care Act, decreases in health department budgets and workforce, and increasing focus on the integration of public health and healthcare are shifting the roles and functions of public health professionals. In light of these changes, the Council on Linkages is exploring the possibility of revising the Core Competencies and is gathering input from the public health field.

This town hall-style session will enable public health professionals to share their thoughts and experiences related to the Core Competencies and influence the review process. Hearing directly from those working within public health about the benefits of the Core Competencies, ways in which they are being used, their utility in preparing for accreditation, barriers and challenges to use, and suggestions for areas of improvement, among other topics, will help ensure the Core Competencies continue to support and enhance organizational performance. Opportunities to contribute input about these competencies beyond this conference session will be provided, as will opportunities for becoming more centrally involved in work related to the Core Competencies.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals and their role in public health practice. Identify at least two opportunities for providing input on the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals. Discuss ways in which the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals could be improved to address changing needs of public health professionals and organizations.

Keyword(s): Competency, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For over 20 years, I have been involved in the development of competencies for the practice of public health, from the Universal Competencies by the Public Health Faculty/Agency Forum to the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice's Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals.
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.