The health professions are confronted with external pressures to assure the public of the continuing competence of health care providers and internal pressures for self-regulation. This article describes the forces driving continuing competence, the difficulty defining the scope of professional competencies for experienced practitioners, the difficulty creating valid measures to evaluate continuing competence, and the need for shared responsibility and collaboration among regulation boards, professional associations, and specialty certification programs. The article presents findings from the Study of Professions, which was based on literature review, document review, and telephone interviews with key informants from 13 regulated health professions.

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