For BCHPCA, the Competency Framework will allow us to strengthen the collaboration between our patient-facing volunteers, who provide a significant amount of care in the community, and the rest of the interdisciplinary care team. Even team members who are not expressly listed in the Framework can consider and develop their competencies through the reflections prompted by the document. The Framework furthers our palliative care services and, ultimately will support the creation of an accreditation program for hospice organizations.
From an advocacy perspective, the Framework demonstrates to government that there is a core level of understanding of practice—not only provincially but nationally as well. Given the expectations of an aging population and the accountability metrics that command government attention, the Framework must be a welcome contribution to leveraging capacity to provide competent palliative care at home. It supports the work of government to better equip our interdisciplinary team—particularly home support, where there is a huge gap in palliative education and competency development.
Evaluation of the Framework will be vital to keep the work alive and in use. It will also be helpful to learn about the experiences of others using the tool. Early assessments could be on the level of engagement and the manner of use in palliative care settings. Potentially, an Agree Tool process could be used to assess quality of service and what works, or not, by region or team, for example. Leadership will need to support use of the tool by giving people space and time to review their competencies and reflect on their own strengths and learning needs. Perhaps, as in other sectors, a surveyor would be useful to observe and offer strategies for how to apply the Competency Framework.