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Making the Core Competencies Work for Public Health: Celebrating the Anniversary of the 2014 Core Competencies

Date: 6/26/2015 10:17 AM

Related Categories: Council on Linkages, Workforce Development

Topic: Council on Linkages, Workforce Development

Tag: Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals, Council on Linkages, Email Newsletter Content, PHF E-News, Workforce Development

Author: Kathleen Amos

Kathleen Amos, MLIS, Assistant Director, Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice, Public Health Foundation
 
What a year it has been! One year ago today – June 26, 2014 – the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice (Council on Linkages) adopted a revised version of the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (Core Competencies). The Core Competencies are in use in health departments, academic institutions, and other organizations across the United States and beyond, and keeping these competencies current and relevant for the public health workforce is of high priority for the Council on Linkages.
 
But the work doesn’t stop there! Over the past year, the Council on Linkages and its member organizations, the Core Competencies Workgroup, and others have been hard at work disseminating the 2014 Core Competencies, supporting health professionals and organizations in their efforts to learn more about this latest version of the Core Competencies, and building resources and tools to help integrate the Core Competencies into workforce development activities.
 
Making the Core Competencies easily accessible and building awareness of this competency set and the changes made in the 2014 version to address feedback from the public health community are critical steps in supporting use of the Core Competencies. The Core Competencies are freely available online, and the Core Competencies section of this website is regularly updated to ensure access to the latest information and tools. Information about the Core Competencies is shared through the Council on Linkages Update, and all Council on Linkages member organizations and others have contributed to sharing information with their members and constituents. Visit the recent PHF Pulse blog post, Help Support Efforts to Disseminate the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals, to learn more about the variety of dissemination activities that have helped raise the visibility of the Core Competencies.
 
These dissemination efforts included a number of activities designed not just to facilitate access to the Core Competencies, but also to help public health and healthcare professionals increase their knowledge of the Core Competencies. Over the past year, Council on Linkages members and staff have been pleased to participate in meetings and conferences of the American Public Health Association, Association for Community Health Improvement, Association for Prevention Teaching and Research’s Council of Graduate Programs in Public Health, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, National Association of Local Boards of Health, and PHPartners and to collaborate with the Association of Public Health Nurses, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and National Association of County and City Health Officials on webinars to share information about the Core Competencies. Combined, these events reached more than 800 people, and the webinar archives are available for future viewing.
 
Throughout this year, tools and resources have also been developed and updated to support public health professionals and organizations in integrating the Core Competencies into their activities. A crosswalk of the 2010 and 2014 Core Competencies was created to assist with the transition between versions, and competency assessments were updated to reflect the new competencies in the 2014 version. Job descriptions and workforce development plans that incorporate the Core Competencies and examples of how organizations are using the Core Competencies continue to be collected and shared online. The 2014 Core Competencies have been integrated into the TRAIN learning mana​gement network to support learners seeking competency-based courses, and the Public Health Foundation has continued developing onsite training opportunities related to the Core Competencies with the creation of a new workshop on aligning job descriptions with Core Competencies. The latest resource – a set of Frequently Asked Questions developed from requests for assistance with the Core Competencies – went live just today! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's continued support of activities like these to assist with use of the Core Competencies has been vital for helping health departments, academic institutions, and others within the public health community put the Core Competencies into practice. 
 
I hope that all of these efforts help make the Core Competencies easier to find, easier to understand, and easier to use. Over this past year, the Core Competencies have been accessed nearly 50,000 times, and Core Competencies resources and tools more than 75,000 times. Thanks to all who have contributed to this success! Please continue to share your Core Competencies feedback and suggestions anytime by email to kamos@phf.org or in the Comments below, and I’ll look forward to another great year of enhancing use of the Core Competencies for public health and healthcare professionals nationwide.

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