A Review of Public Health Training Needs Assessment Approaches: Opportunities to Move Forward

Brenda M. Joly, Fátima Coronado, Brittany C. Bickford, Jonathon P. Leider, Aaron Alford, Jennifer McKeever, Elizabeth Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Context: Assessing training needs of the public health workforce is crucial for creating professional development opportunities to improve knowledge, competence, and effectiveness of this workforce. Dissemination: Regional Public Health Training Centers (RPHTCs) assess workforce training needs and deliver training based on identified needs. To determine training priorities, several needs assessment surveys have been administered by RPHTCs and national public health member organizations. Evaluation: This study identified the types of training questions being asked to public health practitioners in the various assessment surveys implemented by RPHTCs and national membership organizations. Although the surveys measured similar overarching constructs, multiple approaches with limited consistency were used to measure training needs. Discussion: Although successful in responding to the needs of their targeted constituents, the limited consistency among survey types makes generalization of findings difficult. Disseminating common metrics and aggregate survey findings would increase efficiency in determining workforce training needs and developing targeted training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-577
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank members of the Public Health Learning Network for their support and collaboration in this work. This project was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant no. UB6HP27435. It was also supported by a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (no. 5 NU38OT000161-04).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • needs assessment
  • professional development
  • training
  • workforce


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