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Identify Quality Training

What to know

  • When searching for public health trainings, look for quality indicators to identify offerings that best meet your needs.
  • Quality indicators include competencies and learning objectives, the content owner, continuing education accreditation, and availability of learner ratings and comments.


How do you know if a training is worth your time and meets your needs? Look for indicators of quality when searching for public health training. Note: The absence of a quality indicator does not mean it is not a quality training.

Competencies and learning objectives

Review the training competencies and learning objectives. Competencies are skills, knowledge, and abilities critical to performing effectively and efficiently in a professional practice area. Learning objectives should describe what you will know, understand, or be able to do by the end of the training. The presence of competencies and learning objectives suggests that the training developer focused the content to address the training goal.


The TRAIN Learning Network, a shared learning management system freely available to public health professionals, allows you to filter trainings by competencies and capabilities. As a learner, you can search for courses that meet competencies that align with your needs.

Content owner or subject matter expert

Consider the content owner or subject matter expert. The content owner or subject matter expert involved in developing or reviewing content for the training can be an indicator of reliable and accurate content. Some organizations:

  • Require an extensive review and clearance process to ensure accuracy before sharing publicly (for example, federal government agencies)
  • Offer degree or certification programs (for example, universities)
  • Are known for their reliable expertise and education in a specific topic area (for example, the American Diabetes Association, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Global Lyme Alliance)

Continuing education

Look for continuing education. Some trainings offer continuing education credits, hours, or units. Public health and healthcare professionals take these accredited trainings to maintain their licenses and certifications (for example, Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES)). Accredited trainings meet standards determined by accrediting organizations (like the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education). Although there are differences in the standards across accreditation types, any accredited training must meet a set of standards for quality training development.

Publication or Review Date

Consider the publication or review date. A training's date of publication and date of most recent review can be another important indicator of quality. Use the date of publication to consider the "age" of the training. The review date indicates when the training developer last reviewed the training to make sure the content is still relevant and update it if needed. A recent review date demonstrates a commitment to maintaining the training and helps you know that the content within a training is up-to-date, accessible, and relevant.

Learner feedback

Review learner feedback. Look for information that other learners have shared about the training. Some learning management systems and training websites allow you to see learners' ratings or comments.


The TRAIN Learning Network, a shared learning management system freely available to public health professionals, provides a 5-star rating scale that gives a sense of learners' satisfaction with the training.

Developer-reviewed indicator

Look for a developer-reviewed indicator. Information about the process a training developer used can be an indicator of quality.


The CDC Quality Training Standards icon is one indicator of quality used in some learning management systems (for example, the TRAIN Learning Network) and websites. If you see this icon in the search results or description page in TRAIN, the training developer reported that the training meets all eight CDC Quality Training Standards.

Expert-reviewed indicator

Look for an expert-reviewed indicator. A training may be reviewed by a training expert. Information about this review can serve as an indicator of quality.


The Quality Matters (QM) certification process provides an expert review of trainings. A QM-Certified Course is an online or blended course that has met QM Standards as part of an Official Course Review. Once certified, organizations can display the QM Certification Mark next to the qualified course.

Peer-reviewed indicator

Look for a peer-reviewed indicator. A training may also be peer-reviewed, which can serve as an indicator of quality.


The Public Health Learning Navigator seal indicates that an online, self-paced training was reviewed by three external peer reviewers and meets the quality standards of the Public Health Learning Navigator. Trainings that successfully completed the peer review process can be found on the Public Health Learning Navigator website.