Core Competencies for Frontline Complex Care Providers

Rebecca Koppel
Carter Wilson
Mark Humowiecki
October 2020

The field of complex care, which seeks to improve care for individuals with complex health and social needs, is continually growing and developing its workforce. To convey the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed by practitioners and team members who work with individuals with complex needs, the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs developed a set of complex care core competencies. These comprehensive competencies provide a national workforce standard that can be adapted to different disciplines, settings, and contexts.

An interprofessional working group of complex care experts identified six domains to organize the competencies:

  1. Human complexity and context;
  2. Personal and professional commitment and ethics;
  3. Person-centered, relationship-powered care
  4. Integrated team collaboration;
  5. Diverse information management; and
  6. Systems complexity and context.

These competencies can support the work of leaders in assessing current staff, prospective hires, and staff development priorities, and may inform the development of workforce education and training programs. The National Center developed a full report, a brief, appendices, and practical tools and training materials for using the competencies at the practice level.  

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