Core Competencies for Chronic Disease Prevention Practice

Mary Kane, MSLIS; Jennifer Royer-Barnett, MPA; Jeanne Alongi, DrPH


Prev Chronic Dis. 2019;16(10):e144 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Chronic disease prevention practice is an important specialization within public health and health care that connects chronic conditions, causes, prevention tactics, and population-based health promotion modalities. Required competencies for successful chronic disease prevention and health promotion encompass leadership, epidemiology, program practice, and evaluation, among others. In 2007, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) developed and codified the Core Chronic Disease Prevention Competencies (Competencies), a standard set of competencies for professionals in chronic disease prevention and control. NACDD also devised support tools to assist individuals and managers in increasing capacity and opportunities for member growth, thereby benefitting the agencies they serve. In revisiting the Competencies in 2015 through 2018, the NACDD Professional Development Committee reviewed uses, conducted member surveys, polled NACDD councils, and produced recommendations. The goal of this process was to recognize rapid changes in the environments, practices, and characteristics that affect chronic disease prevention, both at the population level and for individual groups at risk during the past 10 years. In addition, opportunities existed to benefit from the changes in technology that have increased demands on health professionals, who as a result have had to adapt to these changes. We worked with the NACDD Learning and Professional Development Committee and reviewed learning offerings, other related competency sets, and tools for performance assessment. The results of the review include a final set of Competencies and subcompetencies, a guide to using the competencies, and a fully integrated interactive assessment tool used by individuals, managers, and teams. Going forward, NACDD's strategic focus includes a regular review of the Competencies and building chronic disease learning assets.