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certification, competencies, credentialing, employers, health education, health promotion, professional preparation, public health, workforce development



  1. Woodhouse, Lynn D. MEd, EdD, MPH
  2. Auld, M. Elaine MPH, CHES
  3. Miner, Kathleen PhD, CHES
  4. Alley, Kelly Bishop MA, CHES
  5. Lysoby, Linda MA, CHES
  6. Livingood, William C. PhD


This article highlights similarities and differences between the public health competencies recently developed by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) and one public health specialty, health education (HE), which has used competencies in its quality assurance systems for more than 20 years. Based on a crosswalk methodology developed for this analysis, some 50 percent to 61 percent of the HE and ASPH competencies had similarities of varying degrees; 18 percent were deemed matches due to sameness in skill or content. Most similarities were found between the ASPH social and behavioral sciences competencies and the HE competencies. Significant domains of "no match" were found between the HE and ASPH competencies in the areas of Systems Thinking, Leadership, and Public Health Biology. The study results have implications for academic programs related to curricula review and revision, continuing education providers who are developing training agendas for the workforce, employers anticipating competencies in new job hires, and prospective students and practitioners who are considering a form of certification. Qualitative insights from the study related to professional culture, purpose, age, and consistency of the scope or depth of the two competency sets, as well as the crosswalk methodology itself, may be useful to those comparing other competency sets.