News & Press: Professional Development

SimGHOSTS Capability Framework - Healthcare Simulation Technology and Operations Roles Defined

Monday, February 17, 2020  
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by Kirrian Steer, SimGHOSTS Executive Director


The Capability Framework for Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists has been developed in response to the demand for greater definition around simulation technology and operations roles. It can be used by simulation industry professionals and employers for activities such as career planning, learning and development, workforce planning, recruitment and selection, performance management, mentoring and coaching. 

The framework has been developed by industry experts who collected and analyzed hundreds of position descriptions from around the world.  It defines three employment levels; foundation, intermediate and senior, and defines core competencies within each of the 8 SimGHOSTS Domains of Practice for people working in healthcare simulation technology roles. These levels and competencies provide the framework, the role is then further defined or customized by considering the individual context of the simulation facility, program and team. 

It was launched to a preview audience at IMSH2020 in January. Feedback was "This is a game changer," "I wish I had this earlier," and "This is exactly what this industry needs."

View or download your own copy here

How to use the Capability Framework

By applying the core competencies to a defined role level, within the context of a specific team and workplace, one is able to clearly describe the expectations and requirements of a role. 

This can then be used to:

- Plan workforce needs

- Develop a position description

- Identify training needs

- Mentor and coach others


It may sound complex, but it is simply a matter of following the formula: 


(Employment Level + Core Competency) x Workplace Context


Let’s take the example of somebody in a foundation level position that is seeking a promotion to an intermediate level position. They work in a nursing program at a state university and would like to continue to work in a similar context. 

A person at a foundation level works mostly in a routine and predictable context and has a level of autonomy within this context. They have a broad knowledge base with some specialization. 

A person at an intermediate level has a greater degree of complexity and more unpredictable nature to their work. This requires the ability to analyze and solve problems, which in turn requires specialized knowledge in one or more areas. They have a higher degree of autonomy and responsibility within their role. 

 If we consider the core competencies in the Simulation Technology domain, they are:

  • Operate a range of simulation technologies.

  • Provide technical support and troubleshooting to others.

  • Source, install, update, maintain, and repair equipment. 

  • Use expertise in simulation to achieve organization objectives.

Starting with Operate a range of simulation technologies we can consider how this competency develops from a foundation to intermediate level in the nursing education context. 


To progress from a foundation to intermediate role, this person would need to demonstrate the ability to operate simulation technologies using advanced features, or in more complex situations, and/or to operate a wider range of simulation technologies.  


This could be achieved through strategies such as:

  • Studying the user guides and technologies, learning about the advanced features and how they work. 

  • Asking others to teach them about the advanced features and how they work, or how to run more complex simulations. 

  • Participating in conferences, vendor-led training or other professional development offerings to learn more about the advanced features of the technologies and how to use unfamiliar technologies. 

  • Learning about simulation technologies used in specialized nursing programs, such as obstetric, neonatal or surgical simulators. 

By following this process for the remaining core competencies, this individual can develop a set of professional development goals or training plan that will help them to achieve their desired promotion.


The Capability Framework has been designed to be applicable to the spectrum of healthcare simulation settings and acts as a guide for customizing or defining roles. For further information and resources, visit the Capability Framework webpage.