Competencies for quality leaders in public health

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 12:34 -- tkane

I recently partnered with a colleague to develop a training called "Competencies for Quality Leaders in Public Health". The training was designed for "rookie" quality leaders and the purpose was to improve their professional capabilities and increase their confidence to serve as effective QI coaches and champions. 

The 3-part training included:

  1. A half-day, in person workshop
  2. A work period for participants to develop and execute a goal-setting worksheet related to the identified compentency areas and
  3. A wrap-up webinar to celebrate accomplishments of the work period and discuss next steps for each individual and participating organization 

The competency areas covered in the training and the rationale for including each competency area in the training is described here:

  1. Role and necessity of agency QI leaders - Quality leaders should understand the role of QI coaches and champions so that organizational QI activities may be carried-out and new QI leaders can be cultivated and trained.  
  2. Plan - Do - Study - Act - Quality leaders should be well versed in the fundamentals of QI including use of PDCA (or another model) to promote the use of a deliberate and defined improvement process.
  3. QI Tools - Quality leaders should possess the knowledge and skills to use common QI tools; they should also be able to describe proper selection and use of tools.
  4. "FEAT" (Facilitation Skills, Effective Meeting Skills, Adult Learning Concepts and Team Development) - Serving as an effective quality leader is a feat that requires more than expertise in QI.
  5. Leadership concepts for quality leaders - Quality champions and coaches have many opportunities to practice leadership. 

Based on YOUR experience as a public health QI LEADER -- What competencies should public health practitioners possess to be effective quality leaders?

Forum Tags: 
0 users have voted.

Submitted by bryn.manzella@j... on


This is an excellent list. I would consider adding basic statistical analysis skills to the list.

0 users have voted.

Bryn Manzella, MPH
Director of Quality Improvement
Jefferson County Department of Health
1400 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233

Megan Davis's picture
Submitted by Megan Davis on

Adding to Bryn's suggestion above, basic skills regarding display of data would be very helpful. For several video training resources tailored to Public Health, see this website:

0 users have voted.

Megan Davis
Accreditation Coordinator
Washington State Dept. of Health

Grace Gorenflo's picture
Submitted by Grace Gorenflo on

Ty, thanks for sharing this -- great list, with some great additions by Bryn and Megan.  I would also recommend some familiarity with change management.  And Megan: the weblink you provided has some wonderful resources -- thanks so much for sharing!

0 users have voted.

cgizzi's picture
Submitted by cgizzi on

I like these competencies, especially the part about being able to describe the proper selection and use of tools.  I think you could expand this to the proper selection of quality methods, as well. 

It's unreasonable for most PH professionals to be trained in multiple quality methods (e.g., PDSA, lean, quality trilogy, six sigma). Who has the time!? However, I think it's good for PH quality leaders to understand the purpose and main components of these different methods. This both helps ensure the best approach to an improvement opportunity and avoids overuse of the latest and shiniest "quality fad".

Thanks for sharing, Ty!


Cindan Gizzi, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Dept. and Public Health Centers for Excellence

0 users have voted.