Ten Years of the Professional Competencies Certification Programme

Professional Competencies Certification Programme

A Pioneer Programme, an Opportunity for Improvement

Andalusia has been the first Spanish Autonomous Community that develops certification programmes aimed at professionals working in health organisations. In 2006, the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality, that was already certifying health centres and units, started to certify the competencies of health professionals who worked at centres belonging to the SSPA (Andalusian Health Public System). Thanks to the support of many experts, quality standards were defined in order to assess the performances developed by health professionals (competencies and good practices), so the first professional competencies manuals were published. After 10 years from the initiation of the Professional Competencies Certification Programme, there are 83 certification manuals for each different area of professional activity. There are already 7,000 SSPA professionals that have certified their competencies, thanks to the collaboration of more than 500 experts and scientific organisations agents in the development of the manuals. On the occasion of the X anniversary of the programme, the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality has edited the book Diez años del programa de acreditación de competencias profesionales (Ten Years of the Professional Competencies Certification Programme), a report of the activity developed in this decade and of the achievements accomplished.

Certified Professionals

Today, there are more than 7,000 health professionals that certified their competencies with the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality. According to the results of the satisfaction tester, the health professionals’ satisfaction with the certification process is high, with an average score of 7.5 and 8.7 out of 10. Besides, a lot of them not only finish their certification process with good result, but they repeat: about 40% of certified professionals opt for the competencies re-certification: a process that allows them to reach higher levels and/or renew their certifications.

For the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality, professionals’ satisfaction and commitment to continue to back the Andalusian Quality Model is the best incentive in order to continue supporting the SSPA. For all that, the voice of the professionals whose competencies have been certified is the best testimony.


Current satisfaction of health professionals regarding the certification process for their competencies

Rafael Rosado, Digestive Tract and General Surgeon (subtitled)

Rosario Velázquez, Child Care Nurse (subtitled)

Rufina Carrasco, Midwife (subtitled)

The Manuals

Professional competencies manuals are the starting point of the certification process developed by the Andalusian Agency of Healthcare Quality. Each manual includes the competencies and good practices that characterise a job, and that should be present in the daily work of a professional so their activity achieves quality standards. Throughout these 10 years, many improvements have been included generating various versions of the manuals. Each of these versions has pursuing the adaptation of the different quality elements to the best scientific evidence and to the reality of the clinical practice on each job and professional group. In 2005, the two first manuals’ ‘version 0’ were carried out. Lately in 2006, manuals for the different professional areas started to be developed in their first version (v.1). In 2008, important improvements were introduced in this first version leading to a new version (v.2), that was followed by version 2.1 in 2011 and, finally, by version 3 in 2015. This is the current version and includes the last update for each of the manuals, according to the available scientific evidence.

There are 83 professional competencies certification manuals for the different professional areas

Technical Advisory Committee

The 83 competencies manuals published have been developed thanks to the collaboration of the SSPA experts, gathered in Technical Advisory Committees (in Spanish, comités técnicos asesores o CTA). More than 600 SSPA professionals and scientific organisations agents have collaborated as experts in the development of the competencies certification programmes.

The Committees’ function is to identify the competencies that a health professional must carry out, as well as to identify the good practices that must be present in their activity. The collaboration of these professionals has been the key to the development of competencies manuals, as well as to keep them updated with the best available scientific evidence.

The names of the professionals that are members of each Committee are included in the manuals.

The Results

Throughout these 10 years, SSPA professionals have been betting on certification. The number of certified professionals has been increasing between 2006 and 2016, and today there are 7,273 health professionals that have certified their competencies. The 37.8% has chosen the renewal in order to reach highest certification levels or maintain their current ones. Currently, more than 20,000 health professionals are in some certification process, which represents more than the 57% of the SSPA professionals that can be certified.

Professionals in the competencies certification process


Of the SSPA health professionals that can be certified bet on the certification

Renewal process in order to reach highest certification levels and/or in order to maintain their current ones

Report about the certified professionals competencies development throughout 2006-2015

The outcomes of the certification processes highlight the competencies reached by the professionals once they complete their certification process. These outcomes also allow to know the compliance level of the good practices defined for each professional activity and area. Thanks to this information, various reports about the certified professionals’ competencies development between 2006 and 2015 have been developed. These reports concern three disciplines: Family Medicine, Surgery and Nursing.

Informe sobre desarrollo competencial: Cirujanos/as


Informe sobre desarrollo competencial: Enfermeros/as


Informe sobre desarrollo competencial: Médicos/as de familia de atención primaria

Family Medicine (Primary Care General Practitioners)

Primary Care General Practitioners

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