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.
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 Council on Linkages' decision about whether to revise the Core Competencies. 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. During this session, a variety of questions will be posed and participants will be engaged in discussion. Input from public health professionals will be central in identifying the competencies necessary for successful performance in the future. 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.
Session 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.

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-Innovations Project

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)