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User guide

Using the Tool

For the purposes of this assessment tool we have simplified and consolidated the PHSCF competences so that they reflect the main characteristics rather than the full competence sets found in the PHSCF. For simplification we have also condensed the nine levels of competence into three, as you will see in the tool itself.

In order to make the most of this tool we strongly suggest that you use it in conjunction with the PHSCF document. This will help you to easily determine the level of competence you or others currently have and what you / they might need to increase effectiveness in public health roles. You can find a copy of the PHSCF here.

Step 1

You may be using this tool to guide others through self assessment or doing it for yourself. The process will be the same.

Familiarise yourself with the PHSCF. This can be done on your own or with your colleagues. You can download the PHSCF from the link above or get a hard copy from Skills for Health:

Step 2

From the above analysis, decide which competence areas are most relevant to your post or job. You may wish to do this in discussion with your manager.

For each relevant competence area, you should then fill in ‘competence level needed’. Again this could be determined in discussion with your manager. Alternatively, if you work in the NHS and your job specification includes Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) competences, you can also look at the KSF-PHSCF mapping tool to determine what level of public health competence your job requires: KSF-PHSCF mapping tool

Step 3

Having determined what level of competence is needed for each competence statement, then add in what level of competence you think you already have. In some cases this may be the same as what is needed, or you may have a higher or lower level of competence than that required for the job. Again, read the competence statements in the PHSCF to get a good feel for what level you are at.

Step 4

Once you have filled in all relevant areas of the tool, you can click on the submit button and a report will be generated that analyses where you may have gaps in your public health competences, and where you have competences over and above what is needed that you could contribute to your team.

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