The International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) has recently acknowledged the New Zealand Health Promotion Competencies as equivalent to its own European Competencies. This is a promising step towards the ultimate aim of global competencies and accreditation; which would offer health promoters the potential to broaden employment opportunities and the exchange of knowledge and experience around the world.
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi was excited about this significant step and its potential implications for health promoters of Aotearoa. “Imagine when New Zealand health promoters can travel anywhere in the world and transfer their competencies to work in any member country,” he said.
The IUHPE has its own European-wide competencies; developed out of itsCompHP project. New Zealand was represented by past HPF Health Promotion Strategist Helen Rance on the Global Advisory Committee that developed these European competencies. The IUHPE has also developed a European accreditation process to sit alongside the competencies. It identifies performance criteria to meet the competencies. Within this process individual practitioners submit a portfolio of evidence rather like nursing; identifying their evidence in meeting each competency. This submitted to their National Accreditation Organisation, which assesses the evidence successful accreditation means they can be called a European Health Promoter with the registration lasting three years. Academic institutions that deliver health promotion courses can also become accredited following a similar process.
Because the European and Aotearoa competencies were developed concurrently, the frameworks consist of the same nine competency domains. The detail below each competency domain heading is different in the Aotearoa context, from that in the European domains as ours prioritise health promotion knowledge and practice that is specific to this country’s context. In order to formalise the IUHPE recognition of the New Zealand Competencies, the HPF’s Health Promotion Strategists are providing the global body with detail around the correlation between the two competency documents.
Health Promotion Forum first produced the New Zealand Health Promotion Competencies in 2000 following two years of extensive consultation. The current – 2012 – version of the Competencies was the result of continued discussions and feedback, which identified a need to strengthen the content and context related to Māori values and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. These latest competencies identify the specific knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes for effective health promotion practices in the Aotearoa New Zealand context.
The decision to recognise the New Zealand competencies was made at a December 2015 meeting of the IUHPE Accreditation System meeting.
9 March 2016