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Core Competencies

In September and October 2020, The Office of Policy & Accountability (OPA) conducted a core competencies survey with NMDOH management. Overall, the long-term purpose was to develop, assure and sustain a competent public health workforce so that DOH can effectively accomplish its vision, to create a healthier New Mexico.

OPA referred to the Counsel on Linkages Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals as a foundational framework, since their set of competencies represent a national consensus on public health skills, developed especially with accredited public health departments in mind. Their framework has 8 domain areas, which OPA staff used but only chose 4-6 NMDOH relevant competencies to fall under each domain. The competencies were split into two professional tiers, one for administrative and programmatic staff and the other for managerial staff. OPA also adopted the employee tier descriptions, focusing only on the tier one and tier two categories.

Tier One Employee Description

This employee is a front line/entry level position. They carry out the day-to-day organizational tasks and are not in management positions. Responsibilities may include administrative assistance, data collection and analysis, fieldwork, program planning, outreach and communications, customer service and program support.

NMDOH Top Ten Tier One Competencies Ranked in Ascending Order by Weighted Average:

  • Communicate in writing and orally with linguistic and cultural proficiency.
    Domain: Communication Skills - (Weighted Average: 4.19)
  • Incorporate ethical standards of practice into all interactions with individuals, organizations, and communities.
    Domain: Leadership & Systems Thinking - (Weighted Average: 4.14)
  • Adhere to organizational policies and procedures.
    Domain: Financial Planning & Management - (Weighted Average: 4.11)
  • Facilitate communication among individuals, groups, and organizations.
    Domain: Communication Skills - (Weighted Average: 3.75)
  • Convey data and information to professionals and the public using a variety of approaches.
    Domain: Communications Skills - (Weighted Average: 3.74)
  • Describe ways to improve individual and program performance.
    Domain: Leadership & Systems Thinking - (Weighted Average: 3.73)
  • Seek out and describe need for professional development.
    Domain: Leadership & Systems Thinking - (Weighted Average: 3.72)
  • Contribute to the development of goals and objectives.
    Domain: Policy Development & Program Planning - (Weighted Average: 3.62)
  • Use information technology in accessing, collecting, analyzing, using, maintaining, and disseminating data and information.
    Domain: Analytical & Assessment Skills – (Weighted Average 3.61)
  • Describe the diversity of individuals and populations in New Mexico as well as in their programmatic service community.
    Domain: Cultural Competency - (Weighted Average: 3.56)

Tier Two Employee Description

This employee is in a program management/supervisory level position. Their responsibilities include developing, implementing and evaluating programs. They supervise staff, establish and maintain community partnerships, manage timelines and work plans, make policy recommendations and provide technical expertise.

NMDOH Top Ten Tier Two Competencies Ranked in Ascending Order by Weighted Average:

  • Follow supervisory duties and adhere to DOH policies and procedures.
    Domain: Financial Planning & Management - (Weighted Average: 4.40)
  • Apply ethical principles in accessing, collecting, analyzing, using, maintaining, and disseminating data and information.
    Domain: Analytical & Assessment Skills - (Weighted Average: 4.35)
  • Review and edit writing and oral communications for linguistic and cultural proficiency.
    Domain: Communication Skills - (Weighted Average: 4.30)
  • Contribute to continuous improvement of individual, program, and organizational performance.
    Domain: Leadership & Systems Thinking - (Weighted Average: 4.26)
  • Use evaluation results to improve employee, program, and organizational performance.
    Domain: Financial Planning & Management Skills – (Weighted Average: 4.25)
  • Provide opportunities for professional development and ensure use of professional development opportunities for individuals and teams.
    Domain: Leadership & Systems Thinking – (Weighted Average: 4.21)
  • Facilitate communication among individuals, groups, and organizations.
    Domain: Communications Skills – (Weighted Average: 4.20)
  • Use performance management systems for program and organizational improvement.
    Domain: Financial Planning & Management – (Weighted Average: 4.18)
  • Describe the concept of diversity as it applies to individuals and populations.
    Domain: Cultural Competency – (Weighted Average: 4.16)
  • Establish and maintain relationships to improve state and community health.
    Domain: Community Dimensions of Practice – (Weighted Average: 4.13)

Currently, to complete NMDOH’s core competency process, it is also necessary to know the workforce’s actual ability in the identified prioritized competencies. Thus, in order to expand the results of this survey into a strategy for addressing current and future gaps in capabilities and capacity, OPA is conducting follow up manager interviews as well as surveying the workforce via a personal self-assessment. In the interviews, supervisors are asked to discuss actual workforce capacity while the self-assessment is an anecdotal assessment of the employee’s level of knowledge or skill for each competency.

The combination of the top ranked core competencies, self-assessed capabilities, and the supervisory gap analysis questionnaire will be compiled into a litmus test for DOH training and development purposes. With this data, the Office of Policy & Accountability will determine the top competency areas needing training and professional development prioritization.

For more information, read the core competency needs analysis survey report.