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Ethics & Human Research

A Competency Framework for Health
Research Ethics Educational Programs: Results
from a Stakeholder-Driven Mixed-Method Process

ABSTRACT Educational programs are integral to building health research ethics (HRE) capacity, but no outcomes framework exists to guide them. We empirically developed a competency framework for health research ethics education—the Framework for Research Ethics Studies Competencies and Outcomes (FRESCO)—using mixed methods, including group concept mapping and a survey of international experts. FRESCO includes seven competency domains: (1) Foundational Knowledge; (2) Laws, Regulations, Guidelines, and Policies for Research Oversight; (3) Ethical-Issue Identification, Analysis, and Resolution; (4) Engagement, Communication, and Advocacy; (5) Lifelong Learning, Edu-cation, Research, and Scholarship; (6) Coordination, Stewardship, and Responsiveness in HRE Systems; and (7) Impartiality, Honesty, and Responsibility. These domains are detailed in 27 subdomains. Survey respondents rated FRESCO’s relevance to HRE highly. FRESCO can be adapted and implemented in educational programs to refine recruitment and selection processes, educational and assessment methods, and performance measures to ensure that HRE educational programs have their intended effects.

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