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Self-Reflective Learning: Map Your Learning Pathway

AssessmentIf you aren’t sure where to begin learning, or you’d like to use a structured approach that ties training to personal and organizational goals, start by assessing your knowledge of and skills in addressing the MCH Leadership Competencies.

Self-Assessment Brochure: Learn about the different options for taking the online self-assessment tool.

The MCH Navigator Self-Assessment is an online tool that employs an automated 3-step process that can be used individually or as part of a group to:

  1. Identify your strengths and learning needs.
  2. Match your learning needs to appropriate trainings.
  3. Receive a personalized learning plan.

John Richards PresentationView a presentation about MCH Navigator innovations and how to use the new online self-assessmentThe new online self-assessment provides a personalized learning plan and tracks increases in knowledge and skills longitudinally. It is being adapted by state Title V/CYSHCN departments as well as schools of public health to document advances in professional development.

  • Individually. Register to take the full assessment in one sitting or by competency. Download, print, or have your personalized learning plan emailed to access learning opportunities based on your interests and needs. Log back in to retake the assessment to track growth in your knowledge and skills.
  • As a group. In state or local health settings to provide professional development for your staff or as part of your department's strategic goals or as part of their performance review process. To coordinate shared learning opportunities, by analyzing needs across staff. In academic settings, to measure students' increased knowledge and skills, to supplement coursework, or to provide additional training for faculty and staff.

The MCH Navigator is pleased to release an updated version of the online self-assessment. This version is consistent with version 4.0 of the MCH Leadership Competencies | Read about the updates here.

You can also download a BROCHURE for a summary of how to use.

Its easy to begin learning ...

  1. Register or Log in. By registering, you can return to the assessment and your personalized learning plan at any time by logging in. Registration provides the project with critical information about who is using the tool.
  2. Choose 1 or 2 Options. Take the assessment in one siting or each competency individually. You can log back in to start where you left off. For each competency, you will be asked a series of questions to gauge the relevance of your knowledge/skills
  3. Get Your Personalized Learning Plan. You can save, print, or download your plan. The plan contains tips and questions on how to approach your learning; a chart that summarizes your strengths and areas of growth; online learning opportunities that are matched to your needs; and ways to keep motivated in learning. You can access your past results to see how you have grown professionally over time.

Group Self-Assessment Reports...

Read how to request a customized report of self-assessment results from your trainees, students, or workforce team (at a department or state level).

Self-assessment is considered to be a major component of learning in public health.1 It provides an opportunity for health professionals to reflect on competency-based strengths and weaknesses in order to identify learning needs and reinforce new skills or behaviors in order to improve performance. 

The literature suggests that self-assessment is a prerequisite for maintaining professional competence,2 and cites an increasing need for self-assessment in healthcare settings as health systems change.3 Based on interviews and focus groups with persons who engaged in self-assessment, four types of benefits associated with self-assessment have also been identified in the literature:4

  • Learning from experience
  • Functioning more effectively
  • Strengthening commitment to competent performance
  • Fostering self-agency and authority

With all of the important and critical benefits associated with self-assessment, it is not designed to be a short process. An extensive review of learner strengths and areas of improvement require multiple levels of validation and questions to ascertain.  Online self-assessment approaches offer the most efficient methods of completion and many other advantages including providing learners with a user-friendly and quick way to answer questions, streamlining the management of the assessment process (i.e., registration/log-in and tool layout pages etc.), and allowing data to be saved, kept confidential, and used for longitudinal data analysis.


  1. Sujata, B., Oliveras, E., and Edson, W.N. (2001). How Can Self-Assessment Improve the Quality of Healthcare?  Operations Research Issue Paper 2(4). Published for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) by the Quality Assurance (QA) Project.
  2. Das, M., D. Mpofu, E. Dunn, and J.H. Lanphear. (1998). Self and tutor evaluations in problem-based learning tutorials: Is there a relationship? Medical Education 32(4):411–18.
  3. Rooke, T.R. (1998). A critical review of reflective practice in its role towards personal and professional development. Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service 84(2):66–70.
  4. Marienau, C. (1999). Self-assessment at work: Outcomes of adult learners’ reflections on practice. Adult Education Quarterly 49(3):135–46.

The MCH Navigator’s online self-assessment provides a thorough review of each of the 12 MCH Leadership Competencies and 140 sub-competencies. Although extensive and requiring a moderate time requirement, leaners are truly tested on their knowledge and skills on critical topics in MCH.  As a result of the comprehensive nature of the assessment, learners are rewarded by increases in knowledge and skills simply by going through the process of completion. The full assessment process serves as a learning opportunity for MCH professionals and source of professional development.

Additional Self-Assessments that can be Used as Learning Opportunities

Begin the MCH Navigator Self-Assessment by registering; return to your assessment at any time by logging in.


Register to take the online self-assessment. You can answer the questions in one sitting or over the course of time. You can also take the self-assessment multiple times and track your learning across your career.

Note, if you have previously registered for the MCHsmart curriculum, you are automatically registered for self-assessment. You can log in to the right

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If you are returning to the self-assessment after a break, log in here:

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This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $225,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.