Action Plan Accomplishments

CDC and our public health partners have made substantial advances toward shared priorities and strategies to strengthen public health workforce development. This page provides a summary outline of specific accomplishments we’ve made toward the top five shared priorities that build the capacity of the public health workforce to protect and promote the public’s health.

Data Decisions icon

1. Data for Decisions Accomplishments

CrossCutting Competencies icon

2. Crosscutting Competencies Accomplishments

Quality Standards for Training icon

3. Quality Standards for Training Accomplishments

  • CDC, Quality Training Standards. In January 2018, education leaders from across the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finalized eight science-based training standards. They serve as a measure of quality for any trainings developed or funded by CDC and provide training developers with guidance for developing quality training.

    Since January 2018, CDC programs have

    • used the standards to guide development
    • used the standards to review existing trainings and identify areas for improvement,
    • added the standards to funding documents for trainings that partners or vendors are developing, and
    • started sharing the standards with others.
Training Decision Tools and Access icon

4. Training Decision Tools and Access Accomplishments

  • As one of the first strategies for implementing Training Decision Tools and Access, CDC included the CDC Quality Training Standards in the Public Health Foundation's national learning management system, TRAIN. TRAIN is a shared learning management system, used by local, state, and federal public health agencies to manage learning and reach the public health workforce with trainings. CDC and the State of Kentucky course providers use the CDC Quality Training Standards to self-certify courses for meeting the standards.

    To do this, course providers answer a list of questions to determine which standards apply to their training. If all eight are selected, they receive a green and white badge, which is displayed on the course description page and in search results. Users can easily filter searches to find courses that meet the standards. The Quality Training Standard features are available for other organizational users of the system to adopt.

    The CDC Quality Training Standards certification, along with star ratings and information from learners who took the course, provide users tools to make decisions about the quality and worth of course options.
  • CDC's Quality Training Standards are now part of CDC's accreditation process. CDC accredited courses, are reviewed by our Continuing Education consultants and those that meet all eight standards receive a badge in the Training and Continuing Education Online System, making it easy for learners to find quality trainings, using a search filter.
Funding Integration icon

5. Funding Integration Accomplishments

  • To ensure workforce development is an integral component of CDC funding opportunities CDC included language in the guidance and templates for our notices of funding opportunities (NOFO) about using direct assistance (DA) to support staffing and training needs. Although this language is intended for use by CDC’s internal programs, it can be used as a starting point for other public health partners and organizations to adapt and integrate into other funding opportunities.

    The following options are available to programs to address this agency priority and each should be discussed ahead of time to determine if an option is preferred and available in light of the cited statutory authority:

    • Include language in your next NOFO that encourages use of DA to meet staffing and training needs.
    • Encourage use of DA by recipients to support CDC’s workforce development programs (e.g., the Public Health Associates Program, Steven M. Teutsch Prevention Effectiveness Fellowship, Laboratory Leadership Service, Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program, Epidemic Intelligence Service, etc.).
    • Set aside specific funding dedicated to a NOFO for DA to specific grantees if authorized by law.
  • Workforce efforts in state, tribal, local and territorial public health agencies may also be supported through other CDC NOFOs when related to efforts addressing national accreditation standards.  CDC worked to include standard accreditation-related language in NOFOs pdf icon[267 KB, 2 Pages, 508].  This language, below, allows applicants to use funds for accreditation efforts as long as the use is consistent with the spirit and authority of the NOFO. 

    If applicable and consistent with the stated cited statutory authority, applicant entities may use funds for activities as they relate to the intent of this NOFO to meet national standards or seek health department accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (see: icon. Activities include those that enable a public health organization to deliver public health services such as activities that ensure a capable and qualified workforce, up-to-date information systems, and the capability to assess and respond to public health needs.

    This language explicitly mentions workforce in the broad context of activities included.  Further, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) standards include standards directly addressing workforce.  The entirety of PHAB Domain 8pdf iconexternal icon (below), pertains to workforce development in public health agencies:

    Domain 8: Maintain a Competent Public Health Workforce
    • Standard 8.1: Encourage the Development of a Sufficient Number of Qualified Public Health Workers
      • Measure 8.1.1 - Relationship and collaboration with educational programs that promote the development of future public health workers
      • Measure 8.1.1 - Relationships and/or collaborations that promote the development of future public health workers
    • Standard 8.2: Ensure a Competent Workforce through Assessment of Staff Competencies, the Provision of Individual Training and Professional Development, and the Provision of a Supportive Work Environment
      • Measure 8.2.1 - Workforce development strategies
      • Measure 8.2.2 - A competent health department workforce
      • Measure 8.2.3 - Professional and career development for all staff
      • Measure 8.2.4 - Work environment that is supportive to the workforce
      • Measure 8.2.5 - Consultation and/or technical assistance provided to Tribal and local health departments regarding evidence-based and/or promising practices in the development of workforce capacity, training, and continuing education