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

Revision Process for Competencies

This project was overseen by NACDD's Professional Development Committee (PDC), an advisory group of 15 members from state health department chronic disease units who conducted regular conference calls and meetings. The review and revision process took place over 3 years. Building on the comprehensive and inclusive process taken to construct the 2007 Competencies,[1] the Committee used a multimethod approach to validate and refine the Competencies and to develop dissemination and implementation recommendations. The Committee checked in repeatedly with key stakeholders and reacted to progress as findings were synthesized. This iterative process had 5 steps (Figure).


Iterative 5-step process for refining and implementing the Core Chronic Disease Prevention Competencies, 2015–2018.

Step 1: 2007 Core Competencies Review. The PDC reviewed documents and publications related to the 2007 Competencies including the self-assessment tool, human resources support tools for job descriptions, and interview guides. The Committee sought, discussed, and reviewed relevant principles, terms, and concepts that were not included in the original version and identified gaps with current approaches to public health workforce development.

Step 2: Environmental Scan and Alignment Review. The environmental scan asked several members of NACDD leadership to identify frameworks and practice recommendations relevant to chronic disease prevention and health promotion practice. These were compared against the 2007 Core Competencies and were analyzed for gaps and alignment with draft recommendations as they were developed.

Step 3: Stakeholder Input. Stakeholder input was collected at multiple times throughout the project through surveys, interviews, and postwebinar polling. Inquiries focused on the relevance of Competencies to practice areas and needed skills, the relevance and utility of existing implementation tools, forecast of future needs, and identification of redundancy. Stakeholders were chronic disease prevention practitioners and subject matter experts including NACDD members, NACDD staff and consultants, and partners.

Step 4: Recommendations Development. As results were accumulated, revisions to the competency list and recommendations for tool development, implementation, and dissemination were drafted. This iterative process continued until the Committee agreed that the recommendations reflected a consensus based on the findings from steps 1 through 3.

Step 5: Adoption and Implementation. The NACDD board of directors formally adopted the Committee's recommendations in January 2018 and implementation and dissemination activities began.