Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals
The Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals are a set of skills for the broad practice of public health. If your agency is interested in learning more about the Core Competencies assessment, please contact your Public Health Nurse Consultant.
What are the Core Competencies?
The Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals are a set of skills for the broad practice of public health, developed by the Council on Linkages between Academia and Public Health Practice. The assessment results are one component of a workforce development plan that can meet national public health accreditation standards.
The Core Competencies include eight domains that reflect public health skill areas, and three staff tiers to account for a range of career stages:
- Analytical/assessment skills
- Policy development/program planning skills
- Communication skills
- Cultural competency skills
- Community dimensions of practice skills
- Public health sciences skills
- Financial planning and management skills
- Leadership and systems thinking skills
- Front line staff/entry level *
- Program management/supervisory level
- Senior management/executive level
* MDH also offers a modified Tier 1 in its assessment, which includes support staf who aid staff across the agency in carrying out everyday work; this modified Tier 1 is not formally recognized by the Council on Linkages.
Why Complete the Core Competencies Assessment?
Public health agencies across the country use the Core Competencies to address education, training, and workforce development.
Agencies seeking national public health accreditation can use the Core Competencies assessment to help meet PHAB Standard 8.2, which requires health departments to submit a workforce development plan that develops staff competencies, and competency-based position descriptions.
You can use the Core Competencies to inform:
- Workforce development plans
- Job descriptions
- Staff evaluations
- Training objectives
- Individual training/personal growth plans
- Recruitment and retention
How else do public health agencies use the Core Competencies? Visit Public Health Foundation: Examples of Core Competencies Use.
Services Offered by MDH
MDH can help you assess your staff using the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals. MDH services include administering the survey, analyzing and summarizing data, and facilitating a prioritization process. MDH can provide further technical assistance to use these results in workforce planning.
Connect with your public health nurse consultant to learn more.
- MDH staff administer the Core Competencies survey, collect results, analyze data, and prepare reports organized by staff tier
- MDH administration of the survey guarantees staff anonymity when responding, increasing the likelihood that staff respond honestly
- Your agency promotes the assessment among staff, using communications and tools developed by MDH
- MDH provides technical assistance to help your agency prioritize competencies using the Public Health Foundation 3-Step Competency Prioritization Sequence (PDF)
- Your leadership participates in a facilitated conversation, comparing each competency to determine the relative importance of each
- You use your organizational goals and strategic plan to aid the conversation
- MDH staff uses assessment and prioritization results to help determine which competencies your agency should further develop or leverage, and which you should maintain or de-emphasize
- MDH encourages your leadership to discuss results with staff
- MDH staff are available for further technical assistance as you incorporate your Core Competency assessment results into your agency's workforce development plan
Would you like to learn more? Connect with your public health nurse consultant to determine when the next assessment occurs.