The professional development of environmental public health professionals in Canada is guided by a set of 133 discipline-specific competencies. Given the diversity of practice in environmental public health, certain competencies may be more important to job effectiveness depending on a practitioner’s context. However, the most important competencies to job effectiveness by context are unknown. Thus, the objectives of this study were to prioritize the discipline-specific competencies according to their importance to job effectiveness, and determine if importance varied by demographic variables.
A quantitative discrete-choice method termed best–worst scaling was used to determine the relative importance of competencies. Discrete choice information was electronically collected and analyzed using Hierarchical Bayesian analysis.
Our analysis indicates that communication was most important to job effectiveness relative to the other categories. Competency statements within each category differed in their importance to job effectiveness. Further, management and front-line practitioners differed in the importance placed on five of the eight categories.
This information can be used to guide new training opportunities, thereby investing in the capacity of environmental health professionals to better protect population health.
Prioritizing professional competencies in environmental public health: A best-worst scaling experiment
Environmental Health Review, vol. 61 no. 2, pg 50-63
Lauren E. Wallar,* Scott A. McEwen,* Jan M. Sargeant,* Nicola J. Mercer,† Andrew Papadopoulos*