All Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care


Palliative and End-of-Life Care Competency Assessment Tool

The Competency Assessment Tool has been developed by a multidisciplinary group, currently practicing within the Health & Social Care Trusts, the independent and the voluntary sector within Northern Ireland. The competencies within the tool can be interpreted and applied across the range of sectors, settings and disciplines which provide palliative and end-of-life care. They are inclusive of all adult populations, regardless of diagnosis, culture or need. The Assessment Tool will assist individuals to build on the skills they already have, shaping professional practice in accordance with the document Living Matters: Dying Matters, a Strategy for Palliative and End of Life Care for Adults in Northern Ireland (Department of Health and Social Services and Public Safety, 2010).

The Competency Assessment Tool includes competencies which have been mapped to the five domains developed by the Department of Health UK National End of Life Care Strategy guidance document Core Competencies for End of Life Care, Training for Health and Social Care Staff (DOH 2008). The five competency domains are listed below:

  1. Overarching Values and Knowledge.
  2. Communication Skills.
  3. Assessment and Care Planning.
  4. Symptom Management, Maintaining Comfort and Wellbeing.
  5. Advance Care Planning.

Each domain has a number of competencies relative to the care and management of patients with palliative and end of life care needs. Each competency has a number of indicators against which to assess competence.

The tool has been developed as a means of assisting practitioners and their managers in identifying development needs to ensure that high quality care is provided to patients, families and carers receiving palliative and end-of-life care. It is a self assessment tool that practitioners will use to identify their own development needs, for discussion with their managers and team leaders within a personal development/appraisal process.

For further information regarding Northern Ireland’s Living Matters, Dying Matters Programme

To view the tool please click here

All-Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care at Our Lady's Hospice and Care Services, Harold's Cross, Dublin 6. Tel: +353 (0)1 491 2948. Email: [email protected]