Development of the Competency Assessment Tool-Mental Health, an Instrument to Assess Core Competencies for Mental Health Care Workers

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2003


As the focus on accountability in health care increases, there has been a corresponding emphasis on establishing core competencies for health care workers. This article discusses the development of an instrument to establish core competencies for workers in inpatient mental health settings. Twenty-six competencies were identified and rated by mental health care personnel on two subscales: the importance of the competency and how much behavioral health care workers could benefit from training on the competency. The reliability of the scale and its contributions to the training, retention and recruitment of direct care workers for behavioral health are discussed.

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