Accreditation framework to enhance health promotion
To further enhance the efficacy of health promotion, HPF is leading the development of an accreditation framework for health promoters and providers in New Zealand.
An important part of this process is the establishment of a national accreditation organisation (NAO), under the global accreditation framework of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).
IUHPE is a global professional non-governmental organisation dedicated to health promotion around the world. For almost 70 years, IUHPE has been operating as an independent, global, professional network of people and institutions committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the people through education, community action and the development of healthy public policy.
At present, anyone can enter the field of health promotion and practise. This is because health promotion is a very broad field with many specialised activities such as leadership, research, policymaking, health education, community development and social marketing. Health promotion is a relatively new professional practice, still developing, and is not regulated.
While there are benefits in having a diverse workforce with a range of competencies, there are challenges. Some of these challenges are the vulnerability and lack of recognition of the workforce, maintaining the professional standards of training, and the safety and wellbeing of peoples and communities that health promoters work with.
To counter these challenges, and building on the 2012 Health Promotion Competencies for New Zealand, HPF is coordinating the establishment of the national accreditation organisation (NAO), under the global accreditation framework of IUHPE.
Some of the benefits for New Zealand health promoters are: 1) a formal recognition of their qualification and professional experience 2) enhancing the integrity of their profession while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the peoples and communities they work with 3) national and international recognition of their unique, New Zealand-based cultural competencies 4) recognition of their competencies across national borders that can lead to finding health promotion roles in countries that are under this global system.
Some of the benefits for providers of health promotion courses are: 1) an international recognition of their health promotion courses 2) enhancing the efficacy of health promotion and the quality of their courses while ensuring the wellbeing and safety of the workforce, and communities.
In light of the benefits outlined above, and being an umbrella organisation for health promotion, and after much consultation with the health promotion sector and workforce over the years, HPF has decided to join the IUHPE accreditation system.