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A Review of Public Health Training Needs Assessment Approaches

Opportunities to Move Forward

Joly, Brenda M., PhD, MPH; Coronado, Fátima, MD, MPH; Bickford, Brittany C., MPH; Leider, Jonathon P., PhD; Alford, Aaron, PhD, MPH, PMP; McKeever, Jennifer, MPH, MSW; Harper, Elizabeth, DrPH

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: November/December 2018 - Volume 24 - Issue 6 - p 571–577
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000774
Research Reports: Practice Full Report

Context: Assessing training needs of the public health workforce is crucial for creating professional development opportunities to improve knowledge, competence, and effectiveness of this workforce.

Dissemination: Regional Public Health Training Centers (RPHTCs) assess workforce training needs and deliver training based on identified needs. To determine training priorities, several needs assessment surveys have been administered by RPHTCs and national public health member organizations.

Evaluation: This study identified the types of training questions being asked to public health practitioners in the various assessment surveys implemented by RPHTCs and national membership organizations. Although the surveys measured similar overarching constructs, multiple approaches with limited consistency were used to measure training needs.

Discussion: Although successful in responding to the needs of their targeted constituents, the limited consistency among survey types makes generalization of findings difficult. Disseminating common metrics and aggregate survey findings would increase efficiency in determining workforce training needs and developing targeted training.

Graduate Program in Public Health, University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine (Dr Joly); Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (Dr Coronado); National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training, National Network of Public Health Institutes, New Orleans, Louisiana (Ms Bickford); JP Leider Research & Consulting, LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Dr Leider); National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training, National Network of Public Health Institutes, Washington, District of Columbia (Dr Alford and Ms McKeever); and Association of State and Territorial Heath Officials, Arlington, Virginia (Dr Harper).

Correspondence: Brenda M. Joly, PhD, MPH, Graduate Program in Public Health, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME 04104 (brenda.joly@maine.edu).

The authors thank members of the Public Health Learning Network for their support and collaboration in this work. This project was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant no. UB6HP27435. It was also supported by a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (no. 5 NU38OT000161-04).

This information or content and conclusions are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, CDC, HHS, or the US Government.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (http://www.JPHMP.com).

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.