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Transforming and scaling up health professionals’ education

POLHN continuing professional development (CPD) courses focus on lessons learnt, best practices, and evidence-based practice. In this way, they are designed to boost knowledge, skills, attitudes and performance of health workers. Courses are designed to improve the overall health care system by enhancing the competencies of the front line workers in the areas of clinical and public health education, policy and regulation.

POLHN provides and sponsors CPD opportunities in the areas of medicine, nursing, health education and public health. POLHN also jointly offers courses developed by external partners; these include learning materials designed and developed by universities and institutions under the creative commons licence, allowing free and open access.

The multi-disciplinary courses provide continuing education (CE) points to meet the requirements set by licensure and regulatory boards. Several hundred health workers across Pacific and other regions benefit from POLHN CE for the renewal, re-statement and certification of their practicing licences. Based on their personal interest, individuals are free to search and enrol into POLHN courses, whether they be sponsored, jointly offered or POLHN-provided.

POLHN utilises adult learning principles when developing content and while selecting appropriate teaching and learning mechanisms. POLHN courses encompass professional education advancement, building and updating of skills, and emphasise practical relevance in the clinical setting.

The objective behind the development of each course is to improve the health of all people by closing the gap between professional knowledge acquired during traditional learning and knowledge required during daily practice.

POLHN recognises constraints linked to the development of human resources for health (HRH). These are: the lack of study opportunities, the increasing costs of medical education, and the high travel costs associated with skills and knowledge upgrades. Hence, POLHN offers ongoing opportunities to improve knowledge and enhance clinical practice.

By refining its policies, governance, and processes, POLHN is constantly striving to overcome constraints identified through its partnership with Pacific Ministries of Health. Its ability to partner with policymakers, doctors, nurses, health educators, local and international health experts, and research entities allows POLHN to build and sustain the health workforce.

POLHN remains committed to assisting Pacific Ministries of Health to bridge knowledge gaps by providing a flawless supply of professional development and education opportunities to upskill health workers and improve overall health service delivery. POLHN is also currently in the process of expanding its course portfolio to provide extensive choices to health workers.

Edited by: Margaret Goydych
For more information, contact Yasin Mohammed, WHO technical officer (email here).