Specialist registration by portfolio assessment: progress report May 2018

UKPHR’s Board gave the go-ahead for introducing an equivalence route for registration of public health specialists by retrospective portfolio assessment at its meeting on 28 September 2017. At the same time, the Board decided to work towards closure of the existing portfolio assessment routes for specialists – RSS and defined specialist – by 31 August 2019.

Following on from the work of a task & finish group comprising representatives of a wide range of stakeholders and two public consultations, the Board set up an implementation group, again drawing on representation from relevant stakeholders, to assist UKPHR with the following tasks:

  • Re-write application forms and related documentations, including template reference and testimonial documents;
  • Produce revised Framework and Guidance for applicants and assessors (including further mapping of competences against the 2015 Public Health Specialty Training Curriculum)
  • Arrange a training programme for assessors;
  • Extend UKPHR’s Quality Assurance arrangements to cover this route.

The Board and the implementation group are working towards a target of being ready to start receiving applications under this route from 01 September 2018 onwards.

It is intended that there will be a two-stage application process, with eligibility determined before applicants are permitted to submit a portfolio for assessment. The Board has an ambition to introduce an e-portfolio but as the development work involved in this project is lengthy, the e-portfolio will be introduced later.

Chair of UKPHR’s Board, Andrew Jones, said that the equivalence of this route relates to two criteria:

“On the one hand, UKPHR has brought this portfolio assessment route into line with the 2015 Public Health Specialty Training Curriculum so that the same skills and knowledge has to be evidenced in the portfolio as has to be evidenced in the Training Programme. On the other hand, The Board wanted this equivalence route to follow as closely as possible the General Medical Council’s CESR route. CESR is Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration and is the route which the GMC provides for registration as a public health specialist as an alternative to successful completion of the Public Health Specialty Training Programme.”

UKPHR’s implementation group has a heavy workload and a tight timescale for completing its work. UKPHR has established a section on its website where all the latest news of the implementation group’s work can be accessed.

The implementation group has also developed a “sounding board” comprising representatives of public health organisations across the UK with an interest in the development of the equivalence route to provide feedback on the group’s proposals before they are confirmed.

UKPHR’s office staff will be pleased to respond to enquiries from interested persons about related matters.


1. The UK Public Health Register (UKPHR) is the independent regulator for the public health workforce in the UK. It operates a register accredited by Professional Standards Authority for professionals who work in public health.

2. Public health specialists are able to achieve registration by successfully completing the Public Health Specialty Training Programme, or by submitting a portfolio of evidence for assessment.

3. UKPHR has been registering public health specialists since 2003. In more recent times UKPHR has commenced registration of public health practitioners and Public Health Specialty Registrars.

4. The main purpose of the regulation of members of the public health workforce is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public. Regulation is important to protect the public, individually and collectively, from bad, harmful and professionally unacceptable public health practice. UKPHR achieves this by ensuring registrants achieve and maintain requisite standards of competence, knowledge and experience as well as adhere to agreed standards of ethical practice.

5. UKPHR is a Company limited by Guarantee and its governance is in the hands of a Board of Directors (a maximum of 12 Directors). UKPHR is registered at Companies House. It is also a registered charity in England & Wales and in Scotland. Its register of public health specialists, Specialty Registrars and public health practitioners is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority under a statutory scheme.

For further information, Contact: David Kidney
Tel. 0121 296 4370 Mobile: 07966 378844 Email: d.kidney@ukphr.org