In the health sector , competency-based education focuses on the desired performance
characteristics of health professionals through designing and implementing the evidence-based
standards, performance indicators and, quality outcomes. This paper aims to explore core competencies
required for health policy graduates, aiming to prepare doctoral students for a spectrum of future roles,
i.e. academic and non-academic.



The databases including PubMed, Scopus, Google scholar , and SID were searched to identify
the required competencies for health policy students worldwide. Students and well-known academics in
the field of health policy ( from Iran and other countries) were interviewed. This qualitative study was
conducted in three phases: a critical review of literature; interviews; and validation of identfied
competencies through face to face consultations with experts complemented by a survey. We used three
methods for data collection: 1) review of the literature; 2) 74 face to face and email-based semi structured interviews and 3) validating the identified competencies through face to face consultations
with qualified experts.



We identified five core competencies for health policy doctoral graduates without specific order
including research, policy analysis, education, decision making, and communication.



As countries are gearing up towards sustainable development goals (SDGs) , the role of
health policy graduates is crucial paving the pathway towards SDGs on health and well-being.
Appropriate and contextually- tailored curriculum is pivotal, we envisage, to foster multi-dimensional
competencies that are complementary to the specific disciplines of health policy scholars of future, those
who can genuinely serve their health systems towards sustainable health development.


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