Canadian Health Services and Policy Research Alliance: Training Modernization in Health Services and Policy Research

Excerpt from the Report from the Working Group on Training [ PDF (323 KB) - external link ]

The attributes and competencies outlined in Figure 1 and Table 1, below, provide the foundation for the recommendations on modernizing HSPR training that are outlined in the report.

Recommended attributes and competencies

During the course of its deliberations, the Working Group reached consensus on eight attributes and competencies that should be included or further emphasized in the training of HSPR doctoral graduates. These competencies are based on a comprehensive literature review and consultations with Working Group members as well as potential employers. These additional skills will allow graduates to work in academic settings but also to move into non-academic careers in the private or public sector. Based on discussions at the March 2016 Training Modernization Workshop in Toronto, two additional competencies were added: (1) change management and implementation; and (2) negotiation. Figure 1 illustrates the enriched core competencies. Table 1 provides descriptions of each competency.

Figure 1: Enriched core competencies

Table 1: Recommended attributes/competencies

Skills Attributes/competencies Description
Research and analytic skills Analysis and Evaluation of Health and Health-Related Policies and Programs The ability to effectively carry out formative and summative evaluation with strong links to organizational improvement and planning. Includes technical skills, contextual awareness, communication skills, analysis skills and research skills.
Analysis of Data, Evidence and Critical Thinking The ability to collect, analyze and use a wide range of data and to reflect critically on and incorporate theory and research evidence iteratively to clarify problems, frame options and identify implementation considerations in both academic and non-academic settings. Includes big data, administrative data and economic data.
Understanding Health Systems and the Policy Making Process Excellent knowledge of the Canadian and international health policy system from both academic and real-world perspectives.
Knowledge Translation, Communication and Brokerage The ability to use multiple methods of communication and to communicate appropriately with different kinds of audiences.
Professional skills Leadership, Mentorship and Collaboration The ability to lead, organize and support teams from various backgrounds to work together to achieve a specific outcome.
Project Management The ability to coordinate and organize all stages through to KTE of a project in an academic and non-academic environment.
Interdisciplinary Work The ability to use effectively and to combine when appropriate methods and insights from multiple academic disciplines (e.g., humanities, social sciences, management, epidemiology, medicine, etc.)
Networking The ability to develop and maintain productive relationships within and outside of academia across the health system.
Negotiation The ability to work towards win-win outcomes and value-added results, including understanding other perspectives and how to respond.
Change Management and Implementation The ability to plan, manage and implement change, including: to communicate a clear vision for change; to lead people and organizations through change; to manage and implement successful transitions; and to evaluate and report on change.
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