Core Competency Framework: Onwards and upwards!

Lesley Holdsworth gives an update on the progress of the FCI Competency Framework Working Group

Developing and implementing a Core Competency Framework for Clinical Informaticians has always been a key priority of the Faculty. I’m sure that all involved with the FCI fully acknowledge how critical even fundamental this work is. It is the ethos and foundation stone for everything the Faculty has ambitions for. The framework is seen as the major enabler of establishing clinical informatics as a recognised specialism at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and a means of consistently developing accredited skills our health and care services need. 

Earlier this year, the first two phases of the work programme were completed.  Phase 1 defined and set out the core competences required of a professional clinical informatician with Phase 2 seeing the publication of the actual Framework. The third phase is now underway led by a Task and Finish, Competency Framework working group (CFWG) chaired by Alan Hassey. The group consists of ten individuals, all fellows or members of the FCI who represent a range of disciplines, professions and UK nations all of whom have a track record of leadership in senior clinical informatics roles and I am delighted to be part of this important initiative.  Not surprisingly, our work like most other aspects of everyone’s lives at present is being progressed virtually, just what would we do without TEAMs? 

The CFWG have been charged by the Education and Standards Standing Committee of the FCI to develop plans and make recommendations for implementing the Competency Framework throughout the UK. It will then be Council’s role to approve (or not!) these recommendations and determine the next delivery stage. 

We are aiming to achieve this ‘ask’ by the end of January 2021 so we will be working at pace to achieve this. The work will be progressed in line with FCI member priorities and interests and to achieve this, extensive member and external engagement will be required. We envisage that we will be speaking with many of you over the course of the next few weeks about how to implement the CCF in practice, identifying priorities and dependencies. We will also be speaking with organisations and external partners to identify opportunities for collaboration, for example, with professional organisations and regulators, the British Computer Society (BCS), Federation of Informatics Professionals (FEDIP), TechUK (an IT industry body) and the Australasian Institute for Digital Health. We are particularly keen to understand more fully how to approach implementation in a way that is relevant to specific disciplines and their regulatory and educational frameworks and also to take UK nation perspectives. This will be a considerable piece of work but one that all on the CFWG have signed up for as all of us recognise its importance to our area of professional interest. The group is also keen to hear from colleagues who are aware of examples of how others are using similar competencies and frameworks so we would urge you to please do get in touch if you have any thoughts or information that would assist us with this task. We aim to share progress and emergent thinking at regular intervals throughout the life of the task force on the website so watch this space! 

Lesley Holdsworth   OBE PhD FCSP FWCT FFCI
Scottish Government: Clinical Lead for Digital Health and Care
Fellow FCI
CFWG member