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CCT criteria

CCT criteria

The following criteria have been agreed with the General Medical Council (GMC) for the award of the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in public health:

Required are:

General Medical Council (GMC) Registration

Full registration as a medical practitioner with the GMC of the United Kingdom throughout the whole period of training. 

Foundation Programme (or equivalent)

Foundation year 1 (F1) and Foundation year 2 (F2) make up the two year Foundation Programme which all UK medical graduates are required to undertake before progressing to specialty training. These two years effectively replace the pre-registration house officer (PRHO) year and the first year of senior house officer (SHO) training. Foundation doctors are trained and assessed against Postgraduate Education and Training agreed with the GMC. For non medical graduates the minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 in a relevant subject at first degree or relevant professional qualification and a minimum of  60 months experience in public health related work.

Specialty Training

A minimum of 48 months of satisfactorily completed supervised training in posts approved by the GMC or other competent bodies in the European Economic Area (EEA) after completion of a suitable academic course in public health.

  • All the training periods for specialty training are given as whole time equivalents, and training which is less than half time (calculated on a weekly basis) will not be counted.
  • At least 24 months must be in training posts in the United Kingdom (UK). Up to 12 months may be undertaken in prospectively approved training post either in the EEA or outside the EEA.
  • The training must include at least 3 months in health protection in a service location within the NHS (or equivalent in each country of the UK) or the Defence Medical Services (DMS). Some experience of out of hours on-call is required. A safe on-call assessment will be undertaken before progression to on-call out of hours work.
  • The training must include at least 12 months in a service location (or equivalent in each country of the UK) or the DMS in addition to the 3 months in health protection.
  • The training must exclude periods of leave of absence in excess of 3 months whole time equivalent (wte) over the whole training period. If absences of lesser duration occur, appropriate efforts must be made to fill resulting gaps in the programme as assessed by the ARCP process. If this is not achieved the CCT date will be modified accordingly.
  • Satisfactory completion of training must be attested by a completed final ARCP form.
  • Training time counted for speciality training must not also have been counted as a part of the Foundation Programme (or equivalent).
  • The training may include: 

- Either 1 year research if not involving service public health.

- Or up to 2 years if it is health services research with service public health involvement.

The training may include up to 3 months in an acting consultant post, prospectively agreed by the relevant Training Programme Director(s) and deaneries. The registrar must be supported by a named Educational Supervisor, retaining their contract and NTN. The training may not include any time spent in locum consultant posts.

The training may include up to 12 months in formal prospectively recognised Locum Appointment - Training posts (LAT) and specialty training fixed term appointments (FTTAs). Exceptionally, this time may be extended if approved by the Education/Faculty Advisers' Committee and postgraduate dean.

For multidisciplinary registrars seeking  registration with UKPHR, the training may include up to  12 months spent in supervised training posts in the field of Public Health in the UK or overseas before the  registrar enters the Specialty Training programme, if this is recommended by the local Specialty Training Committee and approved by the Education Committee of the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) (so-called 'retrospective recognition' of training).

Membership of the Faculty of Public Health

The StRs must have been admitted to Membership of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK in order to be recommended for the award of CCT and therefore complete training.   Registrars gain membership of FPH by passing the MFPH membership examinations (Part A and Part B).

Required documents

FPH recommends the award of CCT to the GMC or the UKPHR when the final assessment form (RITA G/ARCP 6) has been received from the postgraduate dean, and Completion of Training form from the Faculty Adviser.

Completion of Training  is a confirmation by the Faculty Adviser that all of the CCT criteria have been met. Final year registrars should be fully familiar with the criteria to ensure that they have been met in every detail. While it is not necessary to be on a training programme at the time of recommendation, it is necessary to be in good standing on the GMC Medical Register and on the FPH Membership register.

 When the FPH Education and Training Department has received  a final assessment form RITA G/ARCP6 and reviewed all necessary documents, GMC/UKPHR will be notified that the registrar has been recommended for the award of the CCT

Applying for posts

In order to be eligible for consultant level positions in public health, applicants are required to be on the Specialist Register.  This can be gained either from 

Registrars from backgrounds other than medicine

Normally, applicants for consultant posts must already be on the UK Public Health Register (UKPHR) of Public Health Specialists.

Trainees from medical backgrounds

Applicants for direct entry to the Specialist Register must wait to apply for consultant posts until the General Medical Council (GMC) has processed their applications and the entry has been made onto the Specialist Register. An exception is made for Specialty Registrars who are within three months of being on the Specialist Register.


The six-month rule

The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) advises that applicants who are Specialty Registrars in public health, but not yet on the GMC Specialist Register, must have fully passed the Part B MFPH examination in order to be eligible to be short-listed for a consultant grade post.

FPH also advises that suitable signed documentary evidence must be provided by such applicants to confirm that they are within six months (i.e. six months beforehand) of being included on the GMC Specialist Register at the date of interview. The documentary evidence should be:

  • either a RITA Form G/ARCP 6 (Final Record of Satisfactory Progress) or a letter from the postgraduate dean (or Faculty Adviser) specifying the date for completion of training AND
  • a letter from FPH confirming that the applicant has fully passed the Part B MFPH examination

Remaining in a training post

The Orange Book, the Gold Guide and the local Postgraduate Dean are the sources of information about the constraints around remaining in a training post after the award of the CCT.
Annual assessments similar to the RITA/ARCP are held for those permitted to remain. Their purpose is to confirm that the postholder is continuing to make satisfactory progress towards agreed training goals.


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