A good place to start is this scoping review, which provides an
overview of how competency frameworks have been developed in the health
professions since the 1970s:
Batt, A.M., Tavares, W., Williams, B. The development of competency frameworks in healthcare professions: a scoping review. Advances in Health Sciences Education. 2020;25(4):913-987. 10.1007/s10459-019-09946-w. Publisher link.
Next, two systematic reviews from Breanna Lepre and Nicole Murray,
which explore the role of stakeholders in developing competency
frameworks, and specifically patients and the public:
Lepre B, Palermo C, Mansfield KJ and Beck EJ (2021) Stakeholder
Engagement in Competency Framework Development in Health Professions: A
Systematic Review. Frontiers in Medicine: Healthcare Professions Education. 8:759848. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2021.759848 Publisher link
N., Palermo, C. Batt, A.M., Bell, K. Does patient and public
involvement influence development of competency frameworks in the health
professions? A systematic review. Frontiers in Medicine: Healthcare Professions Education. 2022, Jul.10.3389/fmed.2022.918915. [Q1]. Publisher link.
Next up, a conceptual framework which utilises systems thinking to
structure exploration and understanding of practice, which we suggest is
complex and contextual:
Batt, A.M., Williams, B., Brydges, M., Leyenaar, M., Tavares, W.
New ways of seeing: supplementing existing competency framework
development guidelines with systems thinking. Advances in Health Sciences Education. 2021;26(4):1355-1371. 10.1007/s10459-021-10054-x. Publisher link.
Now armed with these historical perspectives and awareness of gaps in
current approaches, comes the practical “how to make a competency
framework” publication. This paper provides a synthesis of existing
development guidance, combined with the conceptual framework outlined
above, and a furthering of knowledge informed by mixed-methods research
approaches, approaches to qualitative “rigour”, and other developments:
Batt, A.M., Williams, B., Rich, J., Tavares, W. A six-step model
for developing competency frameworks in the healthcare professions. Frontiers in Medicine: Healthcare Professions Education. 2021, Dec. 10.3389/fmed.2021.789828. Publisher link
If you wish to read the existing guidance on developing frameworks,
there is a summary table provided in the first scoping review (Table 1,
Specific guidance on methods that may be used during the development
process is often generic base don method, however, specific insights
from the competency framework development process are beginning to
Allen L, Palermo C. Using Document Analysis to Develop
Competency Frameworks: Perspectives from the revision of Competency
Standards for Dietitians. Frontiers in Medicine: Healthcare Professions Education. Publisher link.
Ash, Susan, Kerryn Dowding, and Susan Phillips. ‘Mixed Methods Research
Approach to the Development and Review of Competency Standards for
Dietitians’. Nutrition & Dietetics 68, no. 4 (2011): 305–15. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0080.2011.01552.x.
Claire, Jane Conway, Eleanor J. Beck, Janeane Dart, Sandra Capra, and
Susan Ash. ‘Methodology for Developing Competency Standards for
Dietitians in Australia’. Nursing & Health Sciences 18, no. 1 (March 2016): 130–37. https://doi.org/10.1111/nhs.12247.
Naoko, and Lina R. Bader. ‘Consensus Development Methods:
Considerations for National and Global Frameworks and Policy
Development’. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 30 June 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2021.06.024.
Stephanie, Kyla Alsbury-Nealy, Heather Colquhoun, Euson Yeung, Susan B.
Jaglal, and Nancy M. Salbach. ‘Methodological Approaches for
Identifying Competencies for the Physiotherapy Profession: A Scoping
Review’. Discover Education 1, no. 1 (28 June 2022): 9. https://doi.org/10.1007/s44217-022-00008-9.
Generic methodological guidance that may be useful includes:
Delphi: Trevelyan, Esmé G, and Nicola Robinson. ‘Delphi Methodology in Health Research: How to Do It?’ European Journal of Integrative Medicine, Diagnostic Techniques and Outcome Measures for Integrated Health, 7, no. 4 (1 August 2015): 423–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eujim.2015.07.002.
methods data integration: O’Cathain, Alicia, Elizabeth Murphy, and Jon
Nicholl. ‘Three Techniques for Integrating Data in Mixed Methods
Studies’. BMJ (Online) 341, no. 7783 (2010): 1147–50. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c4587.
methods: Creswell, John W, A Klassen, V Plano Clark, and Katherine
Smith. ‘Best Practices for Mixed Methods Research in the Health
Sciences’, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1002/cdq.12009.
Grant, Maria J, and Andrew Booth. ‘A Typology of Reviews: An
Analysis of 14 Review Types and Associated Methodologies.’ Health Information and Libraries Journal 26, no. 2 (2009): 91–108. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x.
reviews: Tricco, Andrea C., Hanan Khalil, Cheryl Holly, Garumma
Feyissa, Christina Godfrey, Catrin Evans, Diane Sawchuck, et al. ‘Rapid
Reviews and the Methodological Rigor of Evidence Synthesis: A JBI
Position Statement’. JBI Evidence Synthesis, 4 March 2022. https://doi.org/10.11124/JBIES-21-00371.
mapping: Watson, Eilean Genevieve S., Carole Steketee, Kylie
Mansfield, Maxine Moore, Bronwen Dalziel, Arvin Damodaran, Ben Walker,
Robbert J. Duvivier, and Wendy Hu. ‘Curriculum Mapping for Health
Professions Education: A Typology’. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal 21, no. 1 (30 April 2020): 91. https://doi.org/10.11157/fohpe.v21i1.364.
Reporting of the development process has historically been lacking in detail required to make decisions around utility and validity. The CONFERD-HP recommendations for reporting COmpeteNcy FramEwoRk Development in health professions provides an outline of the essential items that should be reported when discussing the development of a competency framework in the health professions.
Alan M Batt, Walter Tavares, Tanya Horsley, Jessica V Rich, Brett Williams, the CONFERD-HP Collaborators, CONFERD-HP: recommendations for reporting COmpeteNcy FramEwoRk Development in health professions, British Journal of Surgery, 2022;, znac394, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjs/znac394
CONFERD-HP endorsement by journals is typically exemplified by a statement in the journal’s Instructions to Authors indicating the journal’s support of CONFERD-HP, typically in the form of a recommendation to authors to adhere to the CONFERD-HP checklist in their manuscripts reporting competency framework development in healthcare professions.
If you would like to improve the reporting completeness competency framework development papers in your journals, one of the best ways is to endorse the CONFERD-HP Statement.
How to endorse CONFERD-HP
Step 1 Include mention of the CONFERD-HP Guideline and reference the CONFERD-HP website in your journal’s instructions to authors for reporting of manuscripts describing competency framework development, or in the organization’s resource section
Our suggested text to include in journal’s instructions for authors is as follows:
"[journal name] requires a completed CONFERD-HP checklist as a condition of submission when reporting the development of a competency framework in the health professions. Templates for these can be found here or on the CONFERD-HP website. At minimum, your article should report the content addressed by each item of the checklist. Meeting these basic reporting requirements will greatly improve the value of your manuscript and may enhance its chances for eventual publication."
Step 2 Contact us and we will add you to our endorsers list – simply have the Editor or Editor-in-Chief email us, and confirm the journal name.
Step 3 Write an editorial in the journal to this effect along with the journal’s policy on helping to improve the quality of competency framework development papers.
Additional resources to help journals develop editorial policies around reporting guidelines can be found on the EQUATOR Network website
When referring to the CONFERD-HP Guideline, we recommend using journal article citations rather than referring to the CONFERD-HP website. If you are not already using a journal article citation, we recommend that you cite one of the original publications of the guideline.
Alan M Batt, Walter Tavares, Tanya Horsley, Jessica V Rich, Brett Williams, the CONFERD-HP Collaborators, CONFERD-HP: recommendations for reporting COmpeteNcy FramEwoRk Development in health professions, British Journal of Surgery, 2022; znac394, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjs/znac394
Usage of the CONFERD-HP Statement and Explanatory Document
The Recommendations for reporting COmpeteNcy FramEwoRk Development in Health Professions and the CONFERD-HP Explanation and Elaboration document are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Usage of the CONFERD-HP Checklist
The CONFERD-HP EChecklist document is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
After the completion of two virtual workshops with expert panel members this month, the CONFERD-HP Guideline has been drafted, and is now undergoing a final review by the expert panel.
The guideline consists of 20 items intended to guide the essential items that should be reported when describing the development of competency frameworks in the healthcare professions. These items encompass the following domains: basic information (e.g., title); background information (e.g., purpose); development process (e.g., methods); testing; funding and conflicts of interest.