As health threats continue to challenge communities across the globe, WHO is taking steps to ensure high-quality training in emergency management is available to keep people safer in these crises.
Six WHO emergency management courses have achieved Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation, certifying that that they have been independently assessed and approved for personal and professional development. Certificates from officially verified CPD courses indicate to learners and professional bodies that the learning value has been scrutinized to ensure both integrity and quality. The accredited training includes 2 blended courses that use a mix of online, peer and face-to-face learning methods and 4 open online courses hosted on OpenWHO.org.
The two blended courses make up the 2 phases of the Leadership in Emergencies programme, which helps WHO and Ministry of Health staff develop key leadership skills to fulfil team lead, health cluster coordinator and incident manager roles in health emergencies. Initially organized in-person, the Leadership in Emergencies courses were digitalized when in-person learning was disrupted by the pandemic.
Phase 1 is an 8-week course of online classes and group work focused on developing leadership skills. Phase 2 provides concentrated and specialist training on the use of transversal skills in an emergency setting using a mix of online classes and a workshop. To date, 165 participants have attended the Phase 1 course, while 48 have attended Phase 2.
“Leadership skills are essential for health emergency response,” said Andrew Black, the WHO Technical Officer who manages the Leadership programme. “We are thrilled that these courses have been accredited for Continuing Professional Development, bringing renewed credibility and benefit for learners in this critical training.”
Open online learning
The other 4 accredited courses are available in self-paced formats for anyone interested on WHO’s free online learning platform, OpenWHO.org.
The Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) course, available in 9 languages, is aimed at health emergency preparedness and response professionals, policy makers and partners seeking to implement and sustain PHEOCs. A PHEOC is a physical location for the coordination of information and resources to support incident management activities.
The Health Cluster Coordination course developed by the Global Health Cluster also received its accreditation. Health clusters exist to relieve suffering and save lives in humanitarian emergencies, while advancing the well-being and dignity of affected populations. This course was designed to increase the skills and knowledge of health cluster teams and partners and to strengthen the efficiency and accountability of all stakeholders in responding to humanitarian crises.
The Ready4Response course series, which serves as a foundation for the Leadership in Emergencies programme, was certified earlier this year. The multi-tiered core curriculum aims to develop consistent learning standards across the emergency response workforces at national level and equips participants with essential competencies needed to work within public health emergency response. The Tier 1 course focuses on the response context and principles, while Tier 2 addresses systems, structures and skills.
Achieving these 6 accreditations further advances the WHO Health Emergencies Programme’s goal of improving health emergency response in all contexts by providing the highest quality learning content to global learners.