Competences for working with older people: the development and verification of the European core competence framework for health and social care professionals working with older people.

Bea Dijkman, Lidwien Reehuis, Petrie Roodbol

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Universities of applied sciences in Europe face the challenge of preparing students in health and social care for working with older people and contributing to the innovations needed in light of the ageing of society, along with changes in the health and social care systems in many coun- tries. Dealing with the special needs of older people and the increasing burden of chronic diseases requires specific competencies for health and social care professionals, as well as an integrated approach to health and social care. Research has found that many educational programs lack adequate preparation for students in health and social care when it comes to the correct competences. To identify the competences needed for all health and social care professionals in Europe, who work with older people, the European Later Life Active Network (ELLAN) has conducted research and developed a verified competence framework. This “European core competences framework for health and social care professionals working with older people” describes roles and competences that stu- dents in health and social care programs need to learn in order to provide good care and support for older people. Within the ELLAN consortium, 26 universities of applied sciences from 25 European countries collaborated in this research and development process. The framework has been ver- ified by two Delphi rounds among a group of 21 experts and a group of 21 researchers from 19 countries. The framework includes awareness of diversity and different cultural backgrounds. This makes it a useful docu- ment for educational purposes all over Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalEducational gerontology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2017



  • competences
  • older people
  • health care professionals
  • social care professionals

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