Corona changes the qualification profile of jobs
Continuing professional development



Wiltz Castle, 30.12.2020


The pandemic is shifting the need for competencies, skill, and ability. This is shown by several studies of the impact of Corona on the skills profile of employees and the self-employed in the EU. Accordingly, the requirements for continuing professional development are changing.


Corona is changing the skills profile of jobs, according to Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. Skills to cope with the challenges associated with social distancing are becoming increasingly important. This applies to both dependent employees and the self-employed in almost all economic sectors, including healthcare and nursing. A not insignificant side effect of this is that academic degrees alone have at best a door-opening function. What is decisive are competencies that are relevant to practice and can be applied immediately.


This is particularly clear in the case of new appointments in sales and marketing. Employees are sought who bring expertise in the development and expansion of online offerings and digital communication and sales strategies. Engineering, architectural and design skills are also in demand. Indeed, in Corona times, numerous providers are concerned with ensuring the profitability, sustainability and security of their production and service processes. According to Prof. Dr. André Reuter, President of DTMD University for Digital Technologies in Medicine and Dentistry, this is not only true for the traditional manufacturing sector, but also applies to healthcare and nursing. Practices, laboratories, clinics, and care facilities must put well-rehearsed organizational structures and processes to the test in order to effectively protect the health of their employees and patients. At the same time, they would have to ensure the quality of their services. Without a comprehensive digital quality management system (QM system), this would hardly be possible. “Corona reveals failures and deficiencies that are often well known, but to which neither those affected, nor policymakers have paid particular attention to date.”


Physicians and hospitals are not committed to any specific QM system. The Joint Federal Committee (G-BA), the highest decision-making body of the joint self-administration in the German healthcare system, does decide on quality assurance measures for practices and hospitals, but it restricts these to the results to be achieved in the sense of an outcome orientation without prescribing specific methods or implementation options.


Regarding the quality management, the guideline of the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA), which came into force on January 1, 2006, stipulates: “Dentists and dental facilities participating in contractual dental care are obliged to introduce and further develop an internal quality management system. This intra-facility quality management, which is not specified in more detail, is intended to provide contract dentists with the opportunity to individually develop and implement quality management for their own practice. They are free to look for a QMS suitable for their own purposes on the market. They can also develop such a system themselves or have it developed.


Regardless of the QMS and its more or less specific implementation, the process of how people react to challenges and changes by adapting their behaviour is of eminent importance. In this context, we speak of resilience. This refers to the ability to cope with stressful situations. This depends on the one hand on the elasticity and on the other hand on the resilience of an organism. Resilience is an important factor in high-quality performance.


The change in qualification profiles goes hand in hand with a change in the requirements for continuing vocational training. This must be practical and relevant in the sense that newly acquired skills and competencies are immediately applicable in the students’ everyday work, which has direct consequences for the selection and appointment of lecturers. Prof. Dr. Ralf Rössler, Dean of DTMD University, comments: “We attach great importance to our lecturers having direct clinical practice themselves in addition to their teaching and research activities.” This is the only way the university can ensure that its in-service postgraduate degree programs and courses reflect the current state of patient-centred innovative diagnostics, treatment, and care, he said.


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