Core competencies in applied infectious disease epidemiology in Europe

Publication series: Core competencies

The aim of this project was to review and update the core competencies in applied infectious disease epidemiology for mid-career applied epidemiologists, based on previous ECDC work in this area. 

Executive summary

A mixed-methods approach was applied to bring together different European partners from the policy, practice and academic sectors. This involved a literature review, as well as a qualitative and quantitative data collection and validation process.The result of this process was the production of a framework, listing 157 competencies grouped into six subject areas:

  • Essential methods for applied infectious diseases epidemiology (28 competencies)
  • Preparedness, surveillance and response to infectious disease outbreaks (29 competencies)
  • Communication and advocacy (25 competencies)
  • Practice of infectious disease epidemiology (34 competencies)
  • Contextual influences on infectious disease management (21 competencies)
  • Leadership and management (20 competencies).

This competency framework can potentially be used for training needs assessments in

  • public health institutions
  • individual assessments
  • writing vacancy notices and professional development planning.

The harmonisation of competencies used in applied epidemiology will facilitate collaboration and the use of a common language among professionals tackling cross-border health threats in Europe.