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Public Health Practitioner Competencies

Competency is defined as “the ability to apply particular knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to the standard of performance required in specified contexts.” 

There are a variety of competency frameworks within the health sector.  Competencies can help identify the common set of skills, knowledge and values which can be embedded across all public health sectors and disciplines for the delivery of essential public health services.

Below is a summary of both the Health Promotion Competencies and the Generic Public Health Competencies currently used in New Zealand.

Health Promotion Competencies for Aotearoa New Zealand

Health promoters ethically engage and empower people and communities, using evidence-informed approaches, to achieve their right to Hauora.  These competencies are a framework for health promoters as well as those working in other areas that may not identify as a health promoter but whose role reflects the Ottawa Charter definition and principles of health promotion (e.g. kaimahi or community health development).  The purpose of these competencies is to identify and define the behaviours, skills, knowledge, and attitudes that health promoters need to work effectively and appropriately with Māori and other peoples, communities, and organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand:

  • To improve health and health equity;

  • To address the determinants of health and;

  • For Māori and all people to exercise control over their health and wellbeing.

Generic Competencies for Public Health in Aotearoa/New Zealand

The generic public health competencies (GPHCs) for public health provide a minimum baseline set of competencies that is common to all public health roles across all public health sectors and disciplines. The GPHCs provide a ’whole of sector’ view of the workforce development required to meet the public health aims of improving the overall health status of the population and reducing health inequalities. They are intended for use by practitioners, managers, policy makers and analysts, educators and trainers, and funders and planners.

Last modified: 06 Mar 2018
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