The FCI’s Professional Competencies for Clinical Informaticians – an update

In 2020, the FCI published the outputs of its Core Competency project (CCP). The CCP provided a methodology for the development of core knowledge and skills-based competencies for Clinical Informaticians (CIs) and the mechanism by which these competencies can be mapped to educational and professional developmental initiatives for accreditation. The key output from the CCP was the description of a Core Competency Framework (CCF) which detailed the core knowledge and skills-based competencies for CIs and the mechanism by which these competencies can be mapped to educational and professional initiatives.  

The FCI’s Competency Framework Working Group (CFWG) was tasked by the Faculty to produce an outline plan, highlighting key areas for the Council to consider in taking the CF forwards. The CFWG would ensure the main deliverables were clear, key stakeholders and resource requirements were identified and recommendations prioritised alongside a likely timescale. 

The CFWG developed its advice by considering the future uses and development of the CF from the perspective of seven strand headings, each framed as a question, to ensure the recommendations were consistent with FCI member priorities, our multi-professional, multi-sector membership and a four-nations perspective. 

The strand headings:

  1. How can the CF support the FCI's business plan and charitable objects? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The CFWG was pleased to note that the CF is already being used by the Universities of Newcastle and Wales Trinity Saint David to accredit courses by mapping them to the CF so that course providers and students can be sure about their value and be reflected in portfolios to support CPD, appraisal and revalidation. 

The CFWG report makes 18 recommendations to take the CF forward. These have been prioritised and grouped into workstreams, with clear lines of accountability, success criteria and actions required for delivery, tabulated for each recommendation mapped against the FCI’s governance structures to ensure ownership of actions and clear lines of accountability. 

The Workstreams (W1 – W4) and high-level description of recommendations:

The CFWG made two further important recommendations: 

  • Firstly, that a new Professionalism Standing Committee (SC), reporting to Council should take responsibility for workstream 4 and overall responsibility for the implementation aspects of this report.  

  • Secondly, that the Professionalism SC establish a Professional Competencies Programme to take forward the development of the CF and ensure it remains a distinctive and recognisable sphere of activity for the FCI in the longer term. 

The CFWG report provides more detailed information on the recommendations and workstreams, alongside case reports and examples of how the CF may be used and developed in future, in the UK and internationally, building on our links with the international CI community.

Alan Hassey

Chair, Core Competency Framework Working Group.

Project Director for the Core Competencies Project.

FCI Council Member.

Chair, Education and standards standing committee.

Lydia Jidkov

Vice Chair, Core Competency Framework Working Group.

Executive Consultant Health and Life Sciences, Atos. 

Honorary Otolaryngology Registrar.  

FCI Council Member.