More career advice about jobs in public health in the UK urged in new report

A new report published today calls for a strengthening of career paths and careers advice in relation to the core public health workforce and wider workforces which improve the public’s health and wellbeing and help reduce health inequalities.

The UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH) and the UK Public Health Register (UKPHR) have jointly published the call in response to Public Health England’s report Fit for the future: public health people, a review of the public health workforce May 2016. They were asked by Public Health England to respond in particular to a recommendation (Recommendation 5.1) which asked them to consider if a fast-track course could be devised for senior managers wishing to become Directors of Public Health.

The FPH and UKPHR have responded with a number of relevant recommendations, including:

  • There is an identified need for more access to career advice for individuals at any career stage and from any professional background wishing to pursue or develop a Public Health career.
  • The description and position of ‘Advanced Practitioner’ status within the public health career pathway needs further consideration.
  • There is currently not the demand for a ‘fast track’ 2-year training scheme, a conversion course or ‘top up’ training.
  • There is strong agreement on the need to market existing routes to registration more clearly and make better and more consistent use of existing flexibilities and opportunities.
  • There is a need for more equitable provision of support for all who want to become registered for public health practice.

The two organisations call on the public health system’s leaders to work together to create a wider range of attractive and fulfilling careers in the field of public health practice.

President of the FPH Professor John Middleton says:

“The results of our research, our engagement with stakeholders, and our joint consideration has led us to conclude that a system-wide approach is called for to attract the brightest and the best talents to join and stay with the UK’s major public health efforts to improve the public’s health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.”
Professor John Middleton, FPH President.

Chair of UKPHR’s Board, Andrew Jones, says:

“There is clearly work to be done within the public health system to educate and raise awareness about these challenging and immensely satisfying careers in public health practice. There is also a strong case for policy-makers to look at how the right offer of flexibilities in entering the public health workforce and progressing in public health careers might be made more accessible to all who might be eligible across the UK.”
Andrew Jones, UKPHR Chair.

The report published today responds to Public Health England’s original request and seeks to make the case for a more coordinated approach to attracting the right recruits into public health, growing the talent within the core public health workforce and opening pathways between this core workforce and the much wider groups of workers in our economy and in our society for closer collaboration and interchange of skills and knowledge.

The report has been considered by Public Health England and discussed by the advisory group People in UK Public Health, which advises the four Health Departments of the UK on public health workforce issues.

The FPH and UKPHR will now be looking to work with willing partners to put in place the attractive range of careers, and the support for all those who wish to access them, that the report recommends.

  1. The Faculty of Public Health is the standard setting body for specialists in public health in the United Kingdom. The UK Public Health Register (UKPHR) is the independent regulator for the public health workforce in the UK.
  2. Public Health England’s report Fit for the future: public health people, a review of the public health workforce May 2016 was published by the UK Government:
  3. Today’s report is from the UK Faculty of Public Health and the UK Public Health Register jointly to Public Health England. It is being published today with the agreement of all three parties.

For further information, contact:

David Kidney, Chief Executive, UK Public Health Register
Tel: 0121 296 4370
Mobile: 07966 378844

James Gore, Director of Education & Standards, Faculty of Public Health
Tel: 020 3696 1481
Mobile: 07921 579199