Competency Areas for Medical Information Professionals

Medical Information Competency Areas

Information management skills

  • Knowledge of relevant information sources including: printed publications, unpublished sources, databases, websites, social media sites and external bodies.
  • Effective understanding and use of the principles of information capture, storage, searching and retrieval.
  • Effective use of appropriate IT systems and programs.

Scientific knowledge

  • Ability to understand in detail clinical, biomedical and scientific reports about pharmaceutical products and related subject areas.

Analytical skills

  • Ability to analyse and appraise clinical, biomedical and scientific reports in a systematic, accurate, fair and balanced way.
  • Ability to make informed decisions after finding the relevant facts.

Communication skills

  • Ability to communicate information effectively and clearly in written form and orally, and at levels appropriate to the needs of different customers.

Understanding the wider context

  • Knowledge of the business and of the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Understanding of the external environment: the NHS, Government policy, regulatory requirements.

Understanding of relevant legal and related issues

  • Human Medicines Regulations 2012 and Statutory Instruments.
  • Copyright.
  • Codes of Practice.
  • Data Protection legislation.
  • Liability.
  • European and Global PV Regulations


  • Understanding of, and compliance with, company policies, legal requirements, the ABPI Code of Practice, the ABHI Code of Business Practice, the MHRA Blue Guide and other industry guidelines that are relevant to medical information.
  • Application of sound professional judgement to ethical issues.

Workload Management

  • Ability to deliver work within agreed timelines.
  • Ability to prioritise, plan and organise work with the appropriate sense of urgency based on customersÂ’ and business needs.

Personal skills

  • Team management and leadership skills (for team leaders and managers).
  • Strategic planning (especially for managers).
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Understanding of the needs and priorities of the customer.
  • Use of effective questioning to establish and understand requests.
  • Ability to actively listen.
  • Teamwork.
  • Courteous manner and consideration of others' views.


  • Providing alerts about news and new publications.
  • Informing management of important issues as they arise which require their attention.
  • Actively increasing awareness of medical information services to colleagues and customers in appropriate ways.


  • Compliance with appropriate standards, using PIPA guidelines as minimum standards.
  • Compliance with standard operating procedures and company policies.

Continuous development

  • Developing and improving knowledge and skills.
  • Keeping abreast of developments in relevant therapeutic areas.
  • Developing the role in line with company's and customers' needs.
  • Identifying and implementing improvements in ways of working - for self and for team/department.