Frequently Asked Questions

common questions you have

What is Health Promotion practice?

Health Promotion practice involves the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behaviour towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions.

The first International Conference on Health Promotion was held November 1986 in Ottawa, Canada. The strategies and actions in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion – 30 years later – remains  central to health promoters today.

What are the Pan-Canadian Health Promoter Competencies?

The Pan-Canadian Health Promoter Competencies are a set of skills, knowledge and abilities necessary for the practice of health promotion.

They are reflective of the various settings and structures of health promotion practice across Canada.

How does the Pan-Canadian Health Promoter Competencies relate to the Public Health Core Competencies?

The Pan-Canadian Health Promoter Competencies are grounded in the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada.

Yet, they are a distinct set of competencies that aims to distinguish the work of health promoters from other public health disciplines in Canada.

How were the Pan-Canadian Health Promoter Competencies developed?

Starting in 2006, Health Promotion Ontario (HPO), in collaboration with the Public Health of Agency of Canada (PHAC), started work on developing a set of competencies for health promoters.

A consultation process was held in 2007 involving health promoters from across Ontario. The validation process continued, with consultations being subsequently held in Manitoba (2008, 2013), Nova Scotia (2014), British Columbia and Alberta (2015).

The proposed Pan-Canadian Health Promoter Competencies were presented at a Canadian Public Health Association conference session in 2015, called: Developing discipline-specific competencies and a national network for health promoters. Feedback from this meeting supported the current version of the Competencies and the priority going forward was to promote them to health promoters across Canada.

Will the Pan-Canadian Health Promoter Competencies change over time?

Yes, the statements will be updated to reflect the feedback from the consultation process and will continually change to reflect the ongoing development of health promotion practice in Canada.

In collaboration with its partners, Health Promotion Canada is committed to ensuring that the competencies remain current and reflect the diversity of health promoters throughout Canada.

Who can practice health promotion?

Anyone can practice health promotion if they demonstrate Pan-Canadian Health Promoter Competencies in their work. Health promoters can come from a variety of disciplines (medicine, nursing, nutrition, community development, social work, communication/public relations, etc.) and a variety of education backgrounds (global affairs, public policy, adult education, etc.). Some people earn undergraduate and graduate degrees specifically in health promotion.

Where do health promoters work or volunteer?

Health promoters can work or volunteer anywhere. People practicing health promotion can find employment or volunteer opportunities in public health units/authorities, government agencies, community organizations, hospitals, think-tanks, academic and research organizations, private workplaces, etc., etc.