Welcome to the Curriculum

The health of our communities depends on a maternal and child health workforce that is well-grounded in the knowledge and skills of their field. But in a world of busy workdays and lives, time to learn all of this essential information is at a premium. MCHsmart provides MCH professionals with a comprehensive collection of learning opportunities. Organized around the MCH Leadership Competencies, this self-paced curriculum provides efficient and accessible learning to MCH professionals at all career levels.

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About MCHsmart

The MCH Leadership Competencies define the specific knowledge, skills, personal characteristics, and values required of current and future MCH leaders. Individually, each of the competencies lays out a definition and knowledge areas that provide the basis for foundational and advanced skills. Together, the competencies comprise a wide-ranging body of knowledge.

Using the competencies as a guide, MCHsmart delivers the core content of an MPH program in a format that is accessible to MCH professionals at all career levels. Learners work at their own pace and choose how deeply they want to explore the knowledge areas and skills for each competency.

Upon completing the program, learners receive a certificate they can use to document their personal learning and/or fulfill professional development requirements.

Conceptual model

The MCH Leadership Competencies are organized within a conceptual framework based on the developmental progression of leadership.

This framework can be visualized as a series of concentric circles that represent broadening spheres of influence. At the center is the “self,” where leadership is directed at one’s own learning. Moving outward, leadership in the next level extends to “others”: coworkers, colleagues, trainees, fellow students, and patients. The final, outermost circle represents the “wider community,” which can be entire organizations, systems, or general modes of practice.

The Leadership Competencies apply across these spheres of influence. Consequently, they are relevant to MCH professionals at every career stage, from entry level to executive.

Overall Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Identify the 12 Leadership Competencies;
  • Explain the ideas and concepts comprising the core knowledge areas and skills outlined by each Leadership Competency;
  • Connect Leadership Competency topic areas that they’d like to learn more about with appropriate training via the MCH Navigator;
  • Assess their learning progress with regard to the Leadership Competencies;
  • Share insights from their learning journey with others via a capstone blog post


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. (May 2018). Maternal and Child Health Leadership Competencies. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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 $180,000/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.