The Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (Core Competencies) are a consensus set of knowledge and 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 or crosscutting knowledge and skills for professionals engaging in the practice, education, and research of public health. These competencies are organized into eight domains, representing skill areas within public health, and three tiers, which describe different types of responsibilities within public health organizations.
The Core Competencies are the result of 30 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 current version of the Core Competencies was adopted by the Council on Linkages on October 21, 2021, following a yearlong review and revision process. Previous versions were adopted on June 26, 2014, May 3, 2010, and April 11, 2001. Guided by the Core Competencies Workgroup, the Core Competencies are regularly reviewed and revised to ensure these competencies remain relevant in an evolving field of public health and continue to meet workforce needs.
Used by public health agencies and academic institutions across the country, the Core Competencies provide a framework for workforce development planning and action, and can serve as a starting point for public health professionals and organizations working to better understand and meet workforce development needs, improve performance, prepare for accreditation, and enhance the health of the communities they serve. Organizations are encouraged to interpret and adapt the Core Competencies in ways that meet their specific organizational needs.
A variety of additional resources and tools are available to support public health professionals and organizations in using the Core Competencies:
A Word version of the Core Competencies is available by request
. Council on Linkages staff are available to answer questions about the Core Competencies and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org