Skills Enhancement for Public Health's Skills Online and Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada are two initiatives led by the Public Health Agency of Canada to help strengthen public health capacity. Skills Online is an Internet-based continuing education program that aims to help you - public health practitioners across Canada - develop and strengthen the knowledge and skills you need to meet the Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada.
Skills Online and Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada are initiatives of the Public Health Agency of Canada's Office of Public Health Practice. The Office has a mandate to improve public health infrastructure through leadership, innovation and concerted action. Areas of focus include workforce, information and knowledge systems, public health law and information policy.
Public health is an information-intensive field that encompasses many disciplines. Like other health-related fields, public health knowledge and practices continually evolve. Post-secondary education prepares you for practice, but continuing professional development is needed to help you maintain high levels of skills and knowledge. Maintaining core competencies is foundational to a competent and strong public health workforce. Skills Online is a continuing education program developed to help you strengthen your public health knowledge and skills, and make better-informed public health decisions.
Core competencies are the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for all practitioners of public health, whatever your specific discipline, program or area of expertise. They are one of the foundational building blocks to strengthen the public health workforce. In September 2007, the Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada: Release 1.0 was made available for use by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Applying these skills will result in sound evidence-based decision-making and planning at the local level to protect and maintain the health of the public.
The Skills Enhancement for Public Health program is designed for you as a public health practitioner, whether you are a public health nurse, environmental public health professional, health promoter, program manager, dental health practitioner, dietitian, policy analyst, public health veterinarian or other public health practitioner. The program builds on the Core Competencies for Public Health to provide professional continuing education at its best.
By providing the public health workforce and organizations with the tools to enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to strengthen public health practice, the Skills Enhancement for Public Health program helps the Public Health Agency of Canada to build public health capacity and public health human resources. Having a highly skilled and competent public health workforce helps to strengthen Canada’s capacity to protect and improve the health of Canadians and to help reduce pressures on the health-care system.
Many partners have helped develop Skills Online and Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada. Federal, provincial and territorial governments, professional associations, non-government organizations, regional health authorities, local public health departments, universities and other groups with an interest in public health have all contributed.
Skills Enhancement for Public Health manages the Public Health Scholarship and Capacity Building Initiative (PHSCBI), which provides grants and contributions to support the development of the public health workforce. For more information about the Initiative, please access PHAC Funding Programs.
For more information about Skills Enhancement for Public Health, contact us.