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Am J Disaster Med. 2013 Winter;8(1):49-56. doi: 10.5055/ajdm.2013.0110.

Public health preparedness and response competency model methodology.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita, KS, USA.



The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act calls for establishing a competency-based training program to train public health practitioners. To inform such training, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association of Schools of Public Health managed groups of experts to produce a competency model which could function as a national standard of behaviorally based, observable skills for the public health workforce to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from all hazards.


A systematic review of existing competency models generated a competency model of proposed domains and competencies.


National stakeholders were engaged to obtain consensus through a three-stage Delphi-like process.


The Delphi-like process achieved 84 percent, 82 percent, and 79 percent response rates in its three stages. Three hundred sixty six unique individuals responded to the three-round process, with 45 percent (n = 166) responding to all three rounds. The resulting competency model features 18 competencies within four core learning domains targeted at midlevel public health workers.


Practitioners and academics have adopted the Public Health Preparedness and Response Core Competency Model, some of whom have formed workgroups to develop curricula based on the model. Efforts will be needed to develop evaluation materials for training and education programs to refine the model as well as for future training and education initiatives.

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