Key Competency 1: Describe how the WHO Core Components relate to the implementation of a successful IPC programme

Key Competency 1: Describe how the WHO Core  Components relate to the  implementation of a successful  IPC programme

IPC Programmes:

IPC programme with a dedicated, trained team should be in place in each acute health care facility for the purpose of preventing healthcare acquired infections (HAI) and combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through IPC good practices.

National level active, standalone, national IPC programmes with clearly defined objectives, functions and activities should be established for the purpose of preventing HAI and combating AMR through IPC good practices. The National IPC programme should be linked with other relevant national programmes and professional organizations.

Evidence-based guidelines

Evidence-based guidelines should be developed and implemented for the purpose of prevention/controlling HAI and AMR. The education and training of relevant health care workers on the guideline recommendations and the monitoring of adherence with guideline recommendations should be undertaken to achieve successful implementation

Education & training

Strong At the facility level, IPC education should be in place for all health care workers by utilizing team and task-based strategies that are participatory and include bedside and simulation training to reduce the risk of HAI and AMR. The national IPC programme should support education and training of the health workforce as one of its core functions.


Strong facility-based HAI surveillance should be performed to guide IPC interventions and detect outbreaks, including AMR surveillance with timely feedback of results to health care workers and stakeholders and through national networks.

Strong National HAI surveillance programmes and networks that include mechanisms for timely data feedback and with the potential to be used for benchmarking purposes should be established to reduce HAI and AMR.

Multimodal strategies

Strong At the facility level, IPC activities should be implemented using multimodal strategies to improve practices and reduce HAI and AMR.

Strong National IPC programmes should coordinate and facilitate the implementation of IPC activities through multimodal strategies at the national or sub-national level.

Monitoring, audit and feedback

Strong Regular monitoring/audit and timely feedback of health care practices should be undertaken according to IPC standards to prevent and control HAIs and AMR at the health care facility level. Feedback should be provided to all audited persons and relevant staff.

Strong A national IPC monitoring and evaluation programme should be established to assess the extent to which standards are being met and activities are being performed according to the programme’s goals and objectives. Hand hygiene monitoring with feedback should be considered as a key performance indicator at the national level.

Workload, staffing & bed occupancy

Strong In order to reduce the risk of HAI and the spread of AMR, the following should be addressed: (1) bed occupancy should not exceed the standard capacity of the facility; (2) health care worker staffing levels should be adequately assigned according to patient workload.

Built environment, materials & equipment

At the facility level, patient care activities should be undertaken in a clean and/or hygienic environment that facilitates practices related to the prevention and control of HAI, as well as AMR, including all elements around the WASH infrastructure and services and the availability of appropriate IPC materials and equipment.

Strong At the facility level, materials and equipment to perform appropriate hand hygiene should be readily available at the point of care.


  • Guidelines on Core Components of Infection Prevention and Control Programmes at the National and Acute Health Care Facility.  Level–WHO (2016). The evidence-based guidelines cover eight areas of infection prevention and control (IPC) and comprise 14 recommendations and best practice statements. The guidelines aim to support countries as they develop and execute their national antimicrobial resistance action plans, among other aspects of health system strengthening. (Executive summary on page 11) (url link)
  • Minimum requirements for starting the implementation of the WHO core components of infection prevention and control programmes: a new approach (ppt presentation) (url link)
  • New WHO Guidelines on Core Components of IPC Programmes at the National and Acute Health Care Facility Level (page 17) (ppt presentation) (url link)
Last modified: Tuesday, 17 November 2020, 6:22 PM