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Accord on core competency, standards and quality assurance in health promotion and education

GALWAY, IRELAND In response to the global health crisis, 26 leading authorities in competency-based and accreditation movements in global health promotion, health education, and public health reached an accord last week on what should comprise the domains of core competency in health promotion and health education.

The conference, the first of its kind, was co-chaired by Prof. Margaret Barry of the National University of Ireland, Galway, who serves as the global vice-president for capacity-building, education and training for the Paris-based International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), and Prof. John Allegrante of Columbia University, a past president of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) in Washington, DC.

The conference addressed the development and implementation of credentialing systems to strengthen global capacity in health promotiona critical element in achieving goals for the improvement of global health.

A consensus statement issued by the organizers identified eight domains of core competency that are required to engage in effective health promotion practice. They are Catalyzing change, Leadership, Assessment, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation, Advocacy, and Partnerships.

The statement also asserts that "Acquiring proficiency in the domains of core competency will require setting standards and developing quality assurance mechanisms that are practice-based and periodically updated," and that "standards and quality assurance mechanisms . . . need to be in place in all countries."

Barry, professor of health promotion and public health, and director of the Health Promotion Research Centre at the National University of Ireland, Galway, said that "The transcontinental quality-assurance efforts share common goals: to protect the public by establishing and assuring a minimum acceptable standard of quality and performance for practitioners of health promotion; to improve or strengthen academic preparation through systems of peer review; and to promote continued professional development of the workforce."

The consensus statement will now be circulated among professionals, employers, and other interested groups for comment over the next six months. The final statement, along with the background papers that informed the conference deliberations, will be published by IUHPE and SOPHE within the next year. The draft consensus statement, along with links to a public comment page where comments, suggestions, and recommendations may be posted, can be found at and

Allegrante, who is professor of health education and chairman of the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Columbia University Teachers College, and adjunct professor of public health in sociomedical sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said that "The final consensus statement will constitute a roadmap by which nations around the world can strengthen workforce capacity." He also said that "This will be essential if both rich and poor countries are to make progress in creating the social circumstances that we know can improve health and the human condition."


Contact: M. Elaine Auld
SAGE Publications

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