PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCES AND EUROPEAN CRITERIA IN THE EDUCATION IN PUBLIC HEALTH
Valentina Alexandrova and Klara Dokova
ABSTRACT: The dynamic changes and challenges in the field of public health and health care in the last years in international context place new requirements to the responsibilities and competences of specialists in public health (PH) and their education and training. With the active role of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) in Europe criteria have been developed, aimed at maintaining and improving the quality of education and training programmers in PH.
Aim: To analyze the main criteria and standards of ASPHER regarding the professional competences necessary in the education in PH.
In 2006, ASPHER developed a framework including a list of the main competences of the practicing PH professionals and undertook actions to implement them in the education and training. The major areas of PH competences included in the updated list of 2018 are: methods in public health; health of the population and its determinants; health policy, economics and management; health education, promotion and prevention; bioethics. These areas of professional competences are oriented to the goals and strategies for PH and the ten basic steps in the action plan “Health 2020”. The framework changes in the direction of greater precision of the major areas and expanding of competences.
The professional competences thus defined provide an excellent framework for development of PH schools and are present in the accreditation criteria of the education and training programmes. Their introduction into the national educational requirements and programmes documentation is the basis for improvement of PH еducation in Bulgaria.
Keywords: professional competences, public health, education, criteria