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We improve public health and population health practice to support healthier communities
Newly Revised Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals Now Available

Date: 11/17/2021 12:40 PM

Related Categories: Council on Linkages, Workforce Development

Topic: Council on Linkages, Infrastructure, Workforce Development

Tag: Competencies, Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals, Council on Linkages, Infrastructure, Performance Improvement, Workforce Development

Author: Kathleen Amos

Kathleen Amos, MLIS, Director, Academic/Practice Linkages, Public Health Foundation

​After engaging in a yearlong review and revision process, the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice (Council on Linkages) is pleased to announce the adoption and release of the 2021 Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (Core Competencies). Thank you to the hundreds of public health and population health professionals from across the country who have contributed to this revision!
A consensus set of knowledge and skills for the broad practice of public health, the Core Competencies are a collaborative effort of the 24 national organizations represented on the Council on Linkages. The Core Competencies describe foundational or crosscutting knowledge and skills for all public health professionals regardless of discipline and are used in workforce development activities nationwide.

The Core Competencies were recently revised to ensure these competencies keep pace with the changing realities of public health and continue to meet the needs of public health professionals and organizations. Guided by the 120-member Core Competencies Workgroup and input from the public health and population health community, revision of the Core Competencies began in October 2020 and resulted in the Council on Linkages adopting a revised version in October 2021, updating the version of the Core Competencies from 2014.

Changes in the 2021 version reflect significant updates to the content, wording, and structure of the Core Competencies, with a focus on improving harmonization with other workforce development resources, adding and expanding concepts of increasing importance in today’s public health environment, and making the Core Competencies easier to use. The 2021 version retains the eight domain structure, although the name and focus of several domains have been updated, and includes both competency statements relevant to all public health professionals and more detailed subcompetency statements organized into three tiers.
Regular review and revision of the Core Competencies are critical to ensuring these competencies remain relevant in an evolving field of public health, and resources and tools to support use of the Core Competencies are key as public health professionals and organizations implement workforce development initiatives, helping organizations craft job descriptions, assess the skills of their workforce, create workforce development plans, develop and deliver competency-based training, strengthen performance, and achieve accreditation. Updating of existing resources and tools and development of new resources and tools is underway and will continue over the coming months to support transition to and use of the new version of the Core Competencies. Suggestions of resources and tools that would be helpful are welcome in the Comments section below or by email to

The coming months will also bring opportunities to learn more about the 2021 Core Competencies and ask questions about this latest version, starting with a webinar on December 7, 2021 from 1-2pm EST. Additional events will be announced through the Council on Linkages Update newsletter as they are confirmed. As well, Council on Linkages staff are available to answer questions related to the Core Competencies and can be reached at

The 2021 Core Competencies are currently available in PDF form, and work has begun to add a more interactive online version and link the Core Competencies to resources offering additional information on the concepts included. The Core Competencies can be accessed online at, and additional information about the Core Competencies, including resources and tools to facilitate use, can be found at


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