Core Competency Framework: turning plans into actions

Vaibhav Joshi provides updates on the CFWG’s work and next steps

As the output of the Competency Framework Working Group (CFWG), we are about to issue our recommendations on the implementation of the Clinical Informatics Core Competency Framework (CF) to the FCI Council.

As covered previously, we are taking a multi-pronged approach to this, divided into seven key strands that the group members have focused their efforts in.  These are designed to overlap with each other and to prompt a deeper dive into each particular focus.

Those seven strands are:

   Strand 1: How does the CF support the FCI's business plan and charitable objects

  Strand 2: How can we use the CF as a route to Membership and Fellowship of the faculty?

  Strand 3: How can we collaborate to take clinical informatics forward across the UK?

  Strand 4: How can we learn from and collaborate with the international clinical informatics community?

  Strand 5: How can we use the CF to accredit courses and course providers?

   Strand 6: How do we embed clinical informatics into core health and care training consistent with national and international standards?

   Strand 7: How can we use the CF to support the professionalisation of the clinical informatics workforce?

My own areas of interest lie in education & standards.  As a broad church, the FCI is keen to bring about a unified solution that covers the foundational tenets of what it will mean to be an accredited clinical informatician, which remains inclusive of all undergraduate backgrounds.  In doing so, we hope to work with stakeholders to embed the CF throughout undergraduate curricula.

The next area we need to tackle is identifying the most relevant, priority areas within the CF for clinical informaticians, considering the stage of training and noting that clinical informatics itself is an umbrella for further specialisations such as clinical intelligence and clinical safety, amongst many others.

So, what constitutes essential reading for all clinical informaticians to stay up to date and safe?  And what is appropriate for specialist areas?  In other words, what does continuing professional development (CPD) look like? 

My own clinical informatics CPD has been driven by looking outwards to other countries where our field is more mature and better established.  With that has come an appreciation that, whilst we don’t need to be experts in everything, we do need to have a working knowledge of all adjacent fields.  For example, addressing the data silos and achieving interoperability; and information security (cybersecurity) as we come up to the fourth anniversary of WannaCry.

Just as commissioners move to outcome-based commissioning (or value-based healthcare), we too need to focus on what the possible outcomes are for those considering clinical informatics as a career option.  Looking at the membership of the Faculty, we are reassured that clinical informaticians are represented at all levels, from CEOs and executive roles, to CSOs and implementation leads, and in frontline staff. 

Broadly speaking, we are represented in leadership, management & governance roles, irrespective of our original training.  The confluence of these three areas underpins the CF and we are cognisant that the core educational content should prepare a budding clinical information to be a pluripotent individual capable of moving into any of these domains.

Clinical informatics is a rapidly evolving, heterogeneous field resulting in many moving goalposts.  Therefore, the road ahead is long with no easy answers.  Our aim is to render an account that is plain and simple, yet does no violence to the difficulty of this subject. 

We remain mindful that our WG, whilst representative, is also a small sample size, so we need to hear from colleagues, especially in areas that we might not have considered.  Therefore please get in touch, your input would be very valuable in ensuring we fully represent our diverse FCI Membership.  In the meantime, we aim to keep sharing further developments with you!

Dr Vaibhav Joshi


Founding Fellow FCI & member of

-              Competency Framework Working Group

-              Governance & Representation Standing Committee