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Health equity learning pathway for public health middle managers

This resource is also available in French.

Middle managers (directors, managers and supervisors) play an important role in facilitating and supporting the innovative health equity work that public health organizations undertake. Consequently, the NCCDH developed this self-directed learning tool to facilitate and support the professional development of public health directors, managers and supervisors.

Understanding a learning pathway

Learning pathways are a form of self-directed learning that includes self-assessment and learning task selection, and should end in practice or behavioural change. [1] The learning strategies and design elements of these learning pathways were informed by a brief literature search and review [1] (the findings of which are available upon request from the NCCDH – in English only). The learning pathways include selected readings and videos from the NCCDH Resource Library, categorized into introductory resources and resources for additional learning. The learning pathways also include learning tools such as quizzes for middle managers to self-assess their knowledge, as well as questions and thinking activities to help middle managers take away practical lessons from each resources they review in the pathway.

Key competencies

This learning pathways build the knowledge, skills and attitudes (i.e., competencies) public health middle managers require to be successful at facilitating the development and implementation of public health strategies and interventions that reduce health inequities. Resources and tools are clustered into learning pathways according to five middle management competency domains adapted to the public health context from the Government of Canada’s Key Leadership Competency Profile. [2] This competency set was selected following a brief literature review to identify existing middle management competencies [3], the results of which are available upon request from the NCCDH – in English only.  The five middle management competency domains include [2.3]:

  1. Create vision and strategy
  2. Mobilize people and achieve results
  3. Uphold integrity and respect
  4. Collaborate with partners and stakeholders
  5. Promote innovation and guide change

Using competencies to cluster tools and resources allows middle managers to clearly see how the knowledge gained from using the learning pathways can be used to build the skills and attitudes needed to succeed in their roles.

Time commitment

It should take approximately one hour to review the introductory resources and complete the tools clustered under one competency domain. Reviewing the additional learning resources should take no more than an additional 45 minutes for each competency domain.

Use this resource to

  • Develop the middle management competencies needed to support health equity work in public health


National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. (2020). Health equity learning pathway for public health middle managers. Antigonish, NS: National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, St. Francis Xavier University.

Related resources


[1] Meighoo, P. (2018). Learning Pathways. Brampton, ON: Durlaksar Inc.
[2] Government of Canada. (2015). The Key leadership competency profile [Internet]. Available from:
[3] Meighoo, P. (2018). Middle Management Competencies. Brampton, ON: Durlaksar Inc.

Tags: Competencies & organizational standards , Key concepts, Leadership & capacity building, National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, Report / Document

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