2013 Review and Update of the Genetic Counseling Practice Based Competencies by a Task Force of the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling
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The first practice based competencies (PBCs) for the field of genetic counseling were adopted by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC), 1996. Since that time, there has been significant growth in established and new work settings (clinical and non-clinical) and changes in service delivery models and the roles of genetic counselors. These changes prompted the ABGC to appoint a PBC Task Force in 2011 to review the PBCs with respect to their current relevance and to revise and update them as necessary. There are four domains in the revised PBCs: (I) Genetics Expertise and Analysis (II) Interpersonal, Psychosocial and Counseling Skills (III) Education and (IV) Professional Development and Practice. There are 22 competencies, each clarified with learning objectives or samples of activities and skills; a glossary is included. New competencies were added that address genomics, genetic testing and genetic counselors’ roles in risk assessment, education, supervision, conducting research and presenting research options to patients. With PBCs serving as the pre-defined abilities or outcomes of training, graduating genetic counselors will be well prepared to enter the field with a minimum level of skills and abilities. A description of the Task Force’s work, key changes and the 2013 PBCs are presented herein.
KeywordsGenetic counseling Practice based competencies (PBCs) Graduate program accreditation Genetic counselors Training Curriculum
While all PBCTF members volunteered their time, funds to support their travel were provided by the ABGC. In addition, the authors would like to offer their heartfelt appreciation to Morry Fiddler, PhD for his thoughtful review of our article and sharing his expertise in describing the processes used to develop competencies. We also wish to thank the AGCPD for their thoughtful review of comments offered regarding draft versions of the PBCs, and express our gratitude to the ACGC Executive Director, Sheila O’Neal, for her support in developing the final PBC document and posting it to the ACGC website at: http://gceducation.org/Documents/ACGC%20Core%20Competencies%20Brochure_14_Web_FINAL.pdf
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Debra Lochner Doyle, Rawan I. Awwad, Jehannine C. Austin, Bonnie J. Baty, Amanda L. Bergner, Stephanie J. Brewster, Lori A. H. Erby, Cathi Rubin Franklin, Anne E. Greb, Robin E. Grubs, Gillian W. Hooker, Sarah Jane Noblin, Kelly E. Ormond, Christina G. Palmer, Elizabeth M. Petty, Claire N. Singletary, Matthew J. Thomas, Helga Toriello, Carol S. Walton, Wendy R. Uhlmann declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human Studies and Informed Consent
No human studies were carried out by the authors for this article.
No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.
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