Competencies for Professionals in Health Economics and Outcomes Research: The ISPOR Health Economics and Outcomes Research Competencies Framework


The need for Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) has expanded globally, fueling demand for professionals trained in the discipline. By leveraging the expertise and perspectives of its members, the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) established a set of competencies for HEOR professionals. The resulting 41 competencies were organized into 13 topic domains that collectively comprise the ISPOR Health Economics and Outcomes Research Competencies Framework. In this article, we explain the collaborative process used by the ISPOR Institutional Council and Faculty Advisor Council to identify and validate the framework. This process entailed expertise from the council members combined with natural language processing to examine competencies included in ISPOR Career Center HEOR job postings, qualitative input from a focused Institutional Council–Faculty Advisor Council workgroup, and quantitative input from 3 surveys of mutually exclusive member groups: a general member survey to assess importance and relevance of each competency, a faculty member survey to assess the extent to which HEOR graduate degree programs cover each of the competencies, and a student member survey to assess exposure to each of the competencies. Organization of the competencies into topic domains was achieved by engaging the Education Council, which applied a taxonomy consistent with ISPOR’s educational programming. The resulting ISPOR Health Economics and Outcomes Research Competencies Framework has the important potential of serving as a tool to guide academic curricula, fellowships, and continuing education programs, and assessment of job candidates. As the HEOR field advances, so do the job types and the breadth of topics in which professionals must demonstrate competence. Future work will entail revisiting the competencies to ensure their currency and comprehensiveness, and tailoring the framework according to major specialty areas.


Laura T. Pizzi Ebere Onukwugha Rebecca Corey Husam Albarmawi James Murray

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