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Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals

Overview

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. These competencies are organized into eight domains, reflecting skill areas within public health, and three tiers, representing career stages for public health professionals.

 The Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice is currently revising the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals to help ensure this resource continues to meet the needs of the public health workforce. Learn more.​​ 
​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 current version of the Core Competencies was unanimously adopted by the Council on Linkages on June 26, 2014, following a yearlong review and revision process. Previous versions were adopted on May 3, 2010 and April 11, 2001. The Core Competencies are regularly reviewed and revised by the Core Competencies Workgroup to ensure these competencies remain relevant in an evolving field of public health and continue to meet workforce needs.


Used by health departments 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 as they work 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 number of additional resources exist to support public health professionals and organizations in using the Core Competencies:
Council on Linkages staff are also available to answer questions about the Core Competencies and can be reached at competencies@phf.org.
 
To learn more about the Council on Linkages’ ongoing work related to the Core Competencies, please visit the About the Core Competencies webpage or contact Kathleen Amos at kamos@phf.org.

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H. David Moss

9/19/2021

I found it very informative and useful.

Emilie

7/28/2021

Very good information,mostly upto date and relevant to my work experience. May need one or two classes changed to include more current health concerns and safety trainings.

Rafael Portillo

7/14/2021

Very good information

Gillian

6/28/2021

Why am I only seeing Data and Analytics as the core competencies?

Ruth Greenslade

6/22/2021

I am looking for the 2020 revisions to the Core Competencies. Can you add a link to the new version to this page?

Michelle Hutchinson

6/19/2021

Thank you for your long and hard work on the updates to the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals. I feel I would be remiss, however, if I didn't mention how disappointed I am to see that revisions contain nothing about organizational health literacy skills (https://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/learn/index.html, also called responsive health literacy skills), or at the very least, plain language skills. One of the 10 Essential Public Health Services (Revised 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/publichealthservices/essentialhealthservices.html) is "Communicate effectively to inform and educate people about health, factors that influence it, and how to improve it." How can public health professionals communicate effectively if they don't know how to use health literacy practices (https://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/planact/steps/index.html), or at the very least, use plain language standards (https://www.plainlanguage.gov/guidelines/)?

Ida Bradley

5/26/2021

The content of this information and the accessment is very rewarding. Learning about the program, can have a impact on pimproving my skills and project development.

Susan Hill

4/23/2021

A very interesting overview for public health.

Faiz Matti

3/25/2020

The information provide is very useful on improving certain areas of weakness relating to public health field. The information also has helped me build ans specialize on my area of expertise.

Migdalia torres Velazquez

4/27/2019

Wonderful and interesting

Loraine Cooper

7/6/2017

How do I get to the core competencies assesment from here?

Linda

9/9/2016

The information given was very informative

Uke Patience

6/18/2016

Very informative page, it's important to understand basic training ideas that are relevant for understanding what you want and how it can impact on areas of interest and practice for an improved work performance.

Linda Bayless

12/3/2015

Great information

Anthony chukwunwike ogorchukwu

7/13/2015

Thanks I'm so much delighted to work in the future of our public health organization and I believe our goal is to achieve a common goal in the future to impacts More information about the public on health and safety which can improve our services and innovation of building a community and Nation

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