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Competency guidelines for public health laboratory professionals
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    Introduction -- Methodology -- Guiding Principles -- Competencies and Skill Domains -- Quality Management System Competency Guidelines -- Ethics Competency Guidelines -- Management and Leadership Competency Guidelines -- Communication Competency Guidelines -- Security Competency Guidelines -- Emergency Management and Response Competency Guidelines -- Workforce Training Competency Guidelines -- General Laboratory Practice Competency Guidelines -- Safety Competency Guidelines -- Surveillance Competency Guidelines -- Informatics Competency Guidelines -- Microbiology Competency Guidelines -- Chemistry Competency Guidelines -- Bioinformatics Competency Guidelines -- Research Competency Guidelines -- Conclusion -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Appendix A. Public Health Laboratory Proficiency Tier Definitions -- Appendix B. Terms Used in These Guidelines.

    These competency guidelines outline the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for public health laboratory (PHL) professionals to deliver the core services of PHLs efficiently and effectively. As part of a 2-year workforce project sponsored in 2012 by CDC and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), competencies for 15 domain areas were developed by experts representing state and local PHLs, clinical laboratories, academic institutions, laboratory professional organizations, CDC, and APHL. The competencies were developed and reviewed by approximately 170 subject matter experts with diverse backgrounds and experiences in laboratory science and public health. The guidelines comprise general, cross-cutting, and specialized domain areas and are divided into four levels of proficiency: beginner, competent, proficient, and expert. The 15 domain areas are 1) Quality Management System, 2) Ethics, 3) Management and Leadership, 4) Communication, 5) Security, 6) Emergency Management and Response, 7) Workforce Training, 8) General Laboratory Practice, 9) Safety, 10) Surveillance, 11) Informatics, 12) Microbiology, 13) Chemistry, 14) Bioinformatics, and 15) Research.

    These competency guidelines are targeted to scientists working in PHLs, defined as governmental public health, environmental, and agricultural laboratories that provide analytic biological and/or chemical testing and testing-related services that protect human populations against infectious diseases, foodborne and waterborne diseases, environmental hazards, treatable hereditary disorders, and natural and human-made public health emergencies. The competencies support certain PHL workforce needs such as identifying job responsibilities, assessing individual performance, and providing a guiding framework for producing education and training programs. Although these competencies were developed specifically for the PHL community, this does not preclude their broader application to other professionals in a variety of different work settings.

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