Lifelong Learning and the Healthcare Executive
November 1999 (revised)
November 2003 (revised)
November 2008 (revised)
Statement of the Issue
The need for healthcare executives to expand their professional competencies has never been greater. Changes in both the financing and delivery of care continue to occur at a rapid pace, and the expertise and skills that are needed to respond appropriately to the resultant challenges are not come by easily. At the same time, traditional career ladders are giving way to new opportunities that extend to all aspects of the healthcare continuum. Only through deliberate, ongoing professional development can healthcare executives be assured that they have the management and leadership skills they need to advance their careers and serve their organizations effectively.
The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) believes healthcare executives have a responsibility to foster their own professional development throughout their careers. As employers, healthcare executives also play an important role in supporting the professional development of their employees. For healthcare executives, career development activities should include the following:
- Periodic self-assessment that involves taking stock of one’s career in terms of professional strengths and weaknesses and specific competencies needed for current responsibilities. Self-assessments also should be used to focus on career aspirations and development of an action plan for achieving career goals.
- A commitment to regularly reading healthcare management periodicals, journals and books that provide insight into the trends, issues and challenges affecting the healthcare management field as well as a variety of media including Web-based or other resources offering broad-based business management information.
- Participation in both in-house education and external offerings that provide a balance between healthcare management competencies and information related to overall management effectiveness. To remain effective, healthcare executives must embrace and master new information and emerging technologies that enhance professional performance. While recertification as an ACHE Fellow requires an average of eight hours of external healthcare management continuing education annually, a total of at least 40 hours a year of continuing education is advisable.
- Active networking that includes both one-on-one interaction with peers and professional society and trade association involvement.
Approved by the Board of Governors of the American College of Healthcare Executives on November 10, 2008.