Professional development activities and qualifications of health promotion practitioners in Australia
Issue addressed: There is a large body of literature which suggests that health promotion practitioners do not make sufficient use of research findings. However, there is a lack of literature reporting on the knowledge, qualifications, and professional development activities of health promotion practitioners in Australia, or indeed elsewhere in the world. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to members of the Australian Health Promotion Association in February 2001. Results: Ninety eight per cent of the practitioners held at least one post-secondary qualification, either in health promotion or public health generally or in their specific field, and just over 20% of the practitioners were currently enrolled in a related course. Overall, the most frequently undertaken activities were those that were done individually and could be performed at one's desk. Practitioners were also more likely to report attending seminars within their own organisation than those held by other bodies. Conclusions: It is apparent from this survey that health promotion practitioners in Australia are a well-educated group of professionals who engage in a range of professional development activities to update their skills.