Mapping competency frameworks: implications for public health curricula design

Coombe L, Severinsen C, Robinson P.  Aust NZ J Public Health. 2022; Online; doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.13253

We undertook a global analysis of public health competency sets (Coombe, et al. 2020), mapped against the Global Charter for the Public’s Health (Lomazzi, 2016) , which is endorsed by the WHO. The Global Charter is a key document which sets out the services and functions of public health.

In that exercise we considered the implications for public health workforce education and training programs, and identified five key challenges (diversity of frameworks, interpretation challenges, levels of competence, integration in curricula and knowledge vs skills-based competences) that have implications for developing internationally consistent credentialling standards.

In line with best practice, we regularly reflected on and documented our work, resulting in this paper. Developing benchmarks for competency frameworks is difficult for many reasons, not the least because mapping processes require a comprehensive understanding of context, science and practice.

We argue that all people working in public health need to be trained in all foundation areas, theoretical and practical, subsequently branching into specialist areas if they so choose. Theoretical and practical course components must therefore be fully integrated and operationalised across public health teaching programs. Curriculum mapping against the Global Charter should also be an integral part of a continual and ongoing review process.


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