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About the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals
The Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (Core Competencies) are a consensus set of skills for the broad practice of public health, as defined by the 10 Essential Public Health Services. Developed by the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice (Council on Linkages), the Core Competencies reflect foundational skills desirable for professionals engaging in the practice, education, and research of public health.
The Core Competencies are the result of more than 20 years of work by the Council on Linkages and other public health practice and academic organizations, beginning with development of the Universal Competencies by the Public Health Faculty/Agency Forum in 1991. The original version of the Core Competencies was released in 2001, and the Council on Linkages unanimously adopted revisions to the Core Competencies in May 2010 and again in June 2014. The Core Competencies are regularly reviewed and revised by the Council on Linkages’ Core Competencies Workgroup to ensure these competencies continue to reflect the skills needed for protecting the nation’s health.
The 2014 version of the Core Competencies is the current version. Download a free copy of this latest version, and visit the Core Competencies review and revision process webpage to learn more about its development.
The Core Competencies are organized into eight domains, reflecting skill areas within public health, and three tiers, representing career stages for public health professionals. These competencies support public health workforce development and can serve as a starting point for public health practice and academic organizations as they create workforce development plans, identify training and workforce needs, prepare for accreditation, and more.
Examples of Use
Public health professionals are using the Core Competencies in a variety of settings, including the federal government, state and local health departments, and academic institutions. The Core Competencies provide the framework for several sets of discipline-specific competencies and have been incorporated into three Healthy People 2020 objectives and the Public Health Accreditation Board Standards and Measures. Specific examples of how organizations have used the Core Competencies are available in the Collection of Examples of Core Competencies Use.
The Core Competencies Workgroup is developing tools to assist public health professionals in using the Core Competencies. Tools and other resources are accessible through the Core Competencies Tools webpage.
For more information about the Core Competencies, please visit the collection of Frequently Asked Questions or contact Kathleen Amos at

Latest Information About the Core Competencies



About the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals