In October 2020 we released Core competencies for frontline complex care providers, which includes the first set of core competencies designed for the complex care field. These complex care core competencies capture the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes for members of teams or individual practitioners that are working in complex care programs. The competencies are also for healthcare, behavioral health, and social service practitioners who may not work in dedicated complex care programs, but regularly encounter people with complex needs. The competencies apply across discipline, profession, and context.

Developing core competencies for frontline complex care providers and practical tools to support their use is the first recommendation of the 11 recommendations laid out in the Blueprint for Complex Care. In 2019, the Complex Care Field Coordinating Committee chartered a working group made up of experts from diverse backgrounds and sectors, including complex care consumers, tasked with developing a proposed set of core competencies for the field.

The final set of core competencies are outlined in the report Core competencies for frontline complex care providers and summarized in brief in Complex care core competencies: Developing the frontline workforce. The 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

We hope that you will incorporate the complex care core competencies into your practice, and that educators that teach and train potential future complex care providers will incorporate them into their curricula. We have some ideas for how to get started doing so in the documents linked below.

Download the report

Online-only appendices

Download the brief

5 ways to use the core competencies in your practice

5 ways for educators and practitioners to use the core competencies in education

We are excited to see how you use the competencies to advance your own practice at the individual, team, and programmatic levels. Please share with us 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.