Friday, 23 October 2015

Competency Guidelines for Public Health Laboratory Professionals



The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently issued a guidance document titled “Competency Guidelines for Public Health Laboratory Professionals: CDC and the Association of Public Health Laboratories.”

The summary reads:

“These competency guidelines outline the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for public health laboratory (PHL) professionals to deliver the core services of PHLs efficiently and effectively.

As part of a 2-year workforce project sponsored in 2012 by CDC and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), competencies for 15 domain areas were developed by experts representing state and local PHLs, clinical laboratories, academic institutions, laboratory professional organizations, CDC, and APHL. The competencies were developed and reviewed by approximately 170 subject matter experts with diverse backgrounds and experiences in laboratory science and public health. The guidelines comprise general, cross-cutting, and specialized domain areas and are divided into four levels of proficiency: beginner, competent, proficient, and expert.

The 15 domain areas are 1) Quality Management System, 2) Ethics, 3) Management and Leadership, 4) Communication, 5) Security, 6) Emergency Management and Response, 7) Workforce Training, 8) General Laboratory Practice, 9) Safety, 10) Surveillance, 11) Informatics, 12) Microbiology, 13) Chemistry, 14) Bioinformatics, and 15) Research.

These competency guidelines are targeted to scientists working in PHLs, defined as governmental public health, environmental, and agricultural laboratories that provide analytic biological and/or chemical testing and testing-related services that protect human populations against infectious diseases, foodborne and waterborne diseases, environmental hazards, treatable hereditary disorders, and natural and human-made public health emergencies.”

The document can be found here: CDC.

Posted by Tim Sandle

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