Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In
We improve public health and population health practice to support healthier communities
Determining Essential Core Competencies for Public Health Jobs: A Prioritization Process


​Public health organizations can be more effective when the competencies of their staff match the types of activities they do in their jobs. To become and remain accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, health departments must provide job descriptions that include competencies needed for the positions. This is a good practice for all organizations and supports successful recruitment, hiring, and professional development.


Developed by the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice, the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (Core Competencies) reflect foundational skills desirable for professionals engaging in the practice, education, and research of public health. Widely applicable to the variety of jobs found within the public health field, the Core Competencies can be used for identifying competencies to be included in competency-based job descriptions.
For any position, critical Core Competencies will vary depending on the responsibilities and activities of individuals in that position. When developing a job description, it is important to determine which competencies are most essential for that position. This tool describes a process for prioritizing competencies for job descriptions using a modified version of the Core Competencies. A public health organization can use this process in a workshop setting to help engage staff members to identify and prioritize the Core Competencies that they feel are most important for their roles. This process is grounded in the Core Competencies, and workshop facilitators should have a working knowledge of the Core Competencies for the process to be successful. Additional information about the Core Competencies is available at
In addition to the tool, which provides instructions for completing the prioritization process, two supplemental resources are available to support organizations in implementing this process:
When accessing these downloads via Internet Explorer, please add to your Internet Explorer trusted sites list. Please contact Kathleen Amos at with any questions.

Instructions for using these resources are available in the tool.

For more information or assistance using this tool, please contact Kathleen Amos at
Related Resources
Activities of the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice (Council on Linkages) are made possible through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Cooperative Agreement Number NU38OT000211. The content of Council on Linkages activities is solely the responsibility of the Council on Linkages and does not necessarily represent the official views of the sponsor.


Add A Comment

Subscribe to PHF