Core Competency Framework - FAQs

What are the clinical informatics core competencies and competency framework?

  • To be a clinical informatician first and foremost, you must be a registered and regulated health or social care professional registered with one of the regulators overseen by the Professional Standards Authority.

  • Clinical informatics is the application of data and information technology to improve patient and population health, care and wellbeing outcomes and to advance treatment and the delivery of personalised, coordinated support from health and social care. 

  • A clinical informatician (CI) is someone who uses their clinical or social care knowledge and experience of informatics concepts, methods and tools to promote patient and population care that is person-centred, ethical, safe, effective, efficient, timely, and equitable. 
     

  • The core competencies project set out to identify the core competencies for an individual to be recognised as a clinical informatician. 

  • The CCP provided a methodology for the development of core knowledge and skills-based competencies for CIs and the mechanism by which these competencies can be mapped to educational and professional developmental initiatives for accreditation.   

  • The Core Competency Framework (CCF) describes the knowledge and skills-based competencies for all Clinical Informaticians (CIs) across health and social care.  
     

  • Evidence that an individual has achieved these core competencies should provide a route for that person to membership of the FCI.  


How will the FCI use the core competencies and competency framework?

The Framework will be used in a wide range of professional and educational activities to:

  • Develop accredited courses and qualifications to meet the needs of Clinical Informaticians (CIs) at all stages of their careers.

  • Enable health and care professionals to identify the knowledge and skills they need to become and develop as CIs. 

  • Enable employers to develop job descriptions and person specifications for appointments to CI roles across health and social care.

  • Support professional appraisal and revalidation.

  • Develop a standardised approach to the specialism of CI at undergraduate and postgraduate level consistent with national and international standards.


How might others use the core competencies and competency framework?

The Competency Framework (CF) may be used by:

  • Individual Clinical Informaticians (CIs) as a tool to plan their learning, professional development, appraisal and revalidation. It can also be used to map out training requirements and identify courses and other learning resources that can meet their requirements and that have been accredited by the FCI.
     

  • By the FCI itself as a way of working with educational providers to develop learning resources for clinical informaticians and allow the FCI to accredit such resources against the CF.
     

  • The FCI may also use the CF as a route to membership of the Faculty – for example by candidates submitting a portfolio of evidence that the individual has achieved the required core competencies. Work on this route to membership is still at a preliminary stage.
     

  • Both of these activities may provide a useful source of income to support the FCI’s future activities in line with its charitable aims.
     

  • The FCI will use the CF as a basis for discussions with professional regulators to raise the profile of clinical informatics as a clinical specialism and recognised career pathway in the UK healthcare sector and to develop a standardised approach to the specialism of CI at undergraduate and postgraduate level consistent with national and international standards.
     

  • Course providers may use the CF to develop courses and educational resources to support the education, training and professional development of CIs.
     

  • Employers may use the Core Competency Project Phase 1 outputs and the CF to develop job descriptions and person specifications for clinical informatics roles in the health and care sector.

Do these competencies apply to all health and care professionals working in clinical informatics?

  • The Core Competency Framework (CCF) describes the knowledge and skills-based competencies for all Clinical Informaticians (CIs) across health and social care.  
     

  • The core competencies and competency framework have been developed, tested, refined and validated at every stage by our multi-professional membership. 

  • Great care has been taken to ensure that we took an inclusive, iterative approach in describing our Phase 1 outputs (who we are and what we do) alongside the competency framework (Phase 2 of the project). 

  • At each stage of the project, the core competencies were redrafted based on the feedback received. In total, the framework outlined in our report has been extensively reviewed by 102 individuals based in the clinical informatics community with clinical, health, social and clinical scientist backgrounds, and will be reviewed on a biennial basis. 

  • The approach adopted in development of the CF helped ensure that the CI community agreed that the competencies described are genuinely “core”. 

  • The core competencies described across all levels demonstrate the breadth and depth of knowledge a clinical informatician is required to know. In total there are 111 competencies described across a total of 36 categories grouped under six domains.


What level of experience are these competencies applicable to?

  • The core competencies and competency framework have been designed to illustrate the breadth and depth of knowledge that an individual needs, to be able to demonstrate that they can be regarded as a professional clinical informatician. 

  • Proof that an individual clinician has reached this standard should qualify that individual for membership of the FCI.
     

  • The core competencies are all “core” and an individual would need to demonstrate that they meet all the criteria set out in the competency framework to be eligible to become members of the FCI.
     

  • We do not state at what career stage or in what order the competencies must be achieved. An individual simply has to provide evidence that they can meet the standards set out in the CF to be eligible for membership of the FCI.