There are a number of routes to gaining registration on the UK Public Health Register.
The term ‘public health practitioner’ is designed to describe a level of practice, not a specific job role or type of job. The UKPHR has taken the broad definition of a ‘public health practitioner’ as someone who has autonomy in specific areas of public health work, continually developing their area of work and supporting others to understand it. Application forms can be accessed through your local Practitioner Scheme. For more information click here
The standard route entails completion of higher specialist training, including in training posts (which involve substantial periods of work in a public health field) fulfilling the Faculty of Public Health’s Curriculum. The regional training schemes in public health meet the Faculty of Public Health’s requirements and standards which include a two-part examination and obtaining a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) on completion of all the competences. This enables you to be entered as a public health specialist on the Public Health Register.
If you are already highly experienced and in a senior role in a specific area of public health practice, you can apply to use the retrospective route to become registered as a defined specialist in public health. This entails putting together a portfolio of evidence to show that you meet the standards required by the public health register. The UKPHR directly assesses the full application for defined registration.
There is also a very restricted route to registration through recognition of specialist status. If you wish to use the retrospective portfolio route to have your name entered as a public health generalist specialist on the public health register, (a specialist competent in all areas of public health practice) your only option is recognition of specialist status (RSS). You would have to provide specific reasons why you need to apply via this route (explain why you have not undertaken the higher specialist training scheme, why you cannot now undertake the higher specialist training scheme and why you cannot apply for defined specialist status). You will need to have those reasons accepted by UKPHR before being allowed to submit a portfolio for assessment. Normally an applicant will have held a senior public health post for several years which will have involved the applicant making independent professional judgements.
The dual route is for those people who are on the specialist registers of the GMC or GDC as doctors or dentists in public health and wish their names to appear on a register specifically for public health as a public health specialist. Registration for them on the public health register will not replace existing professional regulation.
Revalidation – Staying on the register
Initially, registration on the Public Health Register is for five years, subject to annual renewal. The UKPHR board needs to be satisfied that specialists remain fit to practise within the roles that they currently practise at specialist level. Currently, this is achieved through a re-registration process once every five years but UKPHR intends to transform this into a revalidation process as soon as possible. Please check the register website for further guidance on revalidation of specialists as this becomes available. In the interim, all registrants are strongly advised to participate in a recognised scheme of continuing professional development (CPD) and to ensure they have an annual documented professional appraisal and personal development plan.