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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

APIC encourages IPs to test drive new competency model

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology is seeking feedback on its new “competency model” for the profession, which has gone from relative obscurity to increasing national attention as health care associated infections (HAIs) have become a much-discussed national issue.

“As we look down the long and winding road of our field, APIC is seeking input from partner organizations, consumers, and healthcare leaders,” APIC President Michelle Farber, RN, CIC, recently noted in a blog post. “How can we market the value of board certification to institutions? What is the best way to link this model in job descriptions? How do we help strengthen IP practice and professional role development? How do we influence university educators to use the model?" The APIC competency model was published in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the association’s official journal. Represented as a circular diagram with patient safety in the center, the model illustrates four critical areas of expertise that are needed for the expanding IP role: 1. leadership and program management; 2. performance improvement and implementation science; 3. infection prevention and control; 4. technical expertise. The content areas correspond to the core competencies as defined by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC). “Board certification in infection prevention is critical to professional development,” the authors state. “It represents the bridge between the novice and the proficient professional.”

Asking for input, Farber notes that if you “are an IP, use the model to assess your competency level. If you are attending the APIC Annual Conference in San Antonio, share your thoughts at the session devoted to this topic on June 5 at 3 pm. For those outside the profession, share the model with IP stakeholders and ask how this model could be used in your institution.”


Murphy D, Hanchett M, Olmsted R, et al. Competency in infection prevention: A conceptual approach to guide current and future practice. AJIC 2012;40:296-303)