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These Competencies for Public Health Informaticians were created in partnership with the Association of Schools of Public Health and the University of Washington Center for Public Health Informatics.

Download the Competencies for Public Health Informaticians, 2009 [PDF – 38 pages].


As an emerging field, there is no broad consensus on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of public health informaticians. This collaborative effort involved consultations with a wide variety of experts to develop a comprehensive list of competencies.

Proficiency in these competencies will enable today’s public health professionals to leverage the power of modern information technology in the science and practice of public health.


To create a comprehensive list of competencies that:

  • Define the discipline of public health informatics
  • Describe the skills of two different levels of practicing public health informaticians
  • Provide a framework for public health informatics training and career development

Intended Uses

Public Health Informaticians

  • Assess current skill levels
  • Create create career development plans


  • Create career ladders for informaticians
  • Develop training plans
  • Develop position descriptions and job qualifications
  • Assess overall informatics capacity


  • Design competency-based education and training
  • Enhance existing coursework


This work represents a broad set of core competencies for public health informaticians. All informaticians are not expected to be equally competent in every area. Their competency will depend on the following:

  • Seniority
  • Position
  • Focus
  • Location (e.g., health department, academia, federal government)

Related Materials

  • O’Carroll PW, Public Health Informatics Competency Working Group. Informatics Competencies for Public Health Professionals. Seattle, WA: Northwest Center for Public Health Practice; 2002.
  • O’Carroll PW, Yasnoff WA, Ward ME, Ripp LH, Martin EL, eds. Public Health Informatics and Information Systems. NY: Springer; 2003:5.
  • Yasnoff WA, O’Carroll PW, Koo D, Linkins RW, Kilbourne E. Public health informatics: improving and transforming public health in the information age. J Public Health Manag Pract 2000;6:67–75.