Released in October 2020, the Core competencies for frontline complex care providers includes the first set of core competencies designed for the complex care field. As they apply across discipline, profession, and context, the competencies are applicable for healthcare, behavioral health, and social service practitioners who regularly encounter people with complex needs but may not be working in dedicated complex care programs.

The complex care core competencies were developed by a working group made up of experts from diverse backgrounds and sectors, including complex care consumers, who were tasked with developing a proposed set of core competencies for the field that capture the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes for teams or individual practitioners working in complex care programs. Developing core competencies for frontline complex care providers and practical tools to support their use was the first recommendation of the 11 recommendations laid out in the Blueprint for Complex Care in 2019. 

The six core competencies are organized into six thematic domains:

  • Human complexity and context
  • Personal and professional commitment and ethics 
  • Person-centered, relationship-powered care 
  • Integrated team collaboration 
  • Diverse information management 
  • Systems complexity and context

In September 2021, we released the accompanying toolkit, Implementing the complex care core competencies: A toolkit to guide education and training, to help teams implement the complex care core competencies.

On this page you will find:

  • New! Implementing the core competencies: A toolkit to guide education and training
  • Core competencies report
  • Core competencies brief
  • Core competencies appendixes

Core competencies toolkit

This toolkit was designed to help educators and managers teach and train complex care. It includes:

  • guidance on the design and implementation of effective training and education programs, 
  • curated and comprehensive resources designed around the competencies, and 
  • case studies and discussion questions.

Explore the web based toolkit to review the material by section, or download the toolkit as a PDF.

Download the toolkit as a PDF

Core competencies report

This report outlines which members of the complex care workforce should master the competencies, and includes an overview of how the competencies should be applied and the next steps to implement the competencies in the field.

Download the report

Core competencies brief

This brief defines the six domains and associated core competencies. 

Download the brief

Online only appendixes

These appendixes detail the phases of development of the project, framework for assessing mastery for competencies, and core competencies of related fields.   

Online-only appendices

Feedback form

We want to know how you use the competencies to advance your own practice at the individual, team, and programmatic levels. Let us know how you’re using the competencies, what tools you would like to see, and if you’re interested in partnering with the National Center to implement the core competencies in your setting.

Core competencies feedback form

Association support

The following professional, educational, and industry associations have expressed support for the complex care core competencies:

  • America’s Essential Hospitals
  • American Academy of Pediatrics – New Jersey Chapter
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy
  • American Society for Consultant Pharmacists
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • National PACE (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) Association

Watch: Developing the complex care core competencies

Learn more about the core competencies and hear from working group members on how they can be applied to your work in this video from our 2020 national conference.