The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Joint Task Group on Public Health Human Resources proposed a pan-Canadian framework to strengthen public health capacity. Identifying core competencies was one of the foundational building blocks in that framework. Core competencies are the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the practice of public health. They provide the building blocks for effective public health practice and the use of an overall public health approach. Generic core competencies provide a baseline for what is required to fulfill public health system core functions of population health assessment, surveillance, disease and injury prevention, health promotion and health protection.
The Master of Public Health program at Queen’s ensures that all Canadian core competencies are acquired by Master of Public Health students during their sixteen month program. The program's seven required courses provide competency in the areas of : biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences.
In addition, students are expected to develop knowledge and skills related to communication, diversity and culture, leadership, public health biology, professionalisms, program planning and system thinking.