Competency development in public health leadership

Am J Public Health. 2000 Aug;90(8):1202-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.90.8.1202.


The professional development of public health leaders requires competency-based instruction to increase their ability to address complex and changing demands for critical services. This article reviews the development of the Leadership Competency Framework by the National Public Health Leadership Development Network and discusses its significance. After reviewing pertinent literature and existing practice-based competency frameworks, network members developed the framework through sequential use of workgroup assignments and nominal group process. The framework is being used by network members to develop and refine program competency lists and content; to compare programs; to develop needs assessments, baseline measures, and performance standards; and to evaluate educational outcomes. It is a working document, to be continually refined and evaluated to ensure its continued relevance to performance in practice. Understanding both the applications and the limits of competency frameworks is important in individual, program, and organizational assessment. Benefits of using defined competencies in designing leadership programs include the integrated and sustained development of leadership capacity and the use of technology for increased access and quality control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Education, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Public Health Administration / education*
  • United States