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Curriculum review

The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) has committed to undertake a review of Public Health Specialty Training Curriculum. The current curriculum has already been 'future proofed' by adhering to the enduring principles of public health practice which remain relevant across different systems, cultures and countries. However, settings for practice are changing and diversifying and in particular the new role of local government in England presents a major cultural shift and an opportunity to strengthen public health by refocusing some important work in communities. FPH regularly reviews the curriculum to ensure its content is fit for purpose and relevant across the whole of the UK.

A Curriculum Review Steering Group (CRSG) has been established with responsibility for overseeing the curriculum review process. The CRSG is responsible to the FPH Education Committee and will formally report at every Education Committee meeting. The CRSG is chaired by the Assistant Academic Registrar, Dr Brendan Mason, and includes wide representation from FPH committees, regulators and other stakeholders including:

  • Dental Public Health
  • Department of Health
  • General Medical Council
  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • Health Education England
  • Health Protection Scotland
  • Lead Dean for Public Health
  • Local Government Association
  • Public Health Agency (NI)
  • Public Health England
  • Public Health Specialty Registrars Committee
  • Public Health Wales
  • UK Public Health Register
Curriculum Review Process

The CRSG has outlined the scope and draft timetable for conducting the curriculum review. The FPH Curriculum and Assessment Committee has been tasked as the working group for the duration of review and it will be responsible for the micro activities of the review, including managing the consultation process. For the sake of clarity, the Curriculum and Assessment Committee will be referred to as the Curriculum Review Working Group (CRWG) for the duration of the review.

Draft Timetable

July to October 2013 Finalise consultation questions and process
November 2013 to February 2014 First stage broad consultation, including workshops
February 2014 to April 2014 Collate, analyse and interpret responses
May 2014 to July 2014 Develop detailed proposals for change in curriculum
August 2014 to September 2014 Second stage focused consultation on the proposals
October 2014 to November 2014 Finalise and agree submissions to regulators
December 2014 Submission to regulators
January 2015 Consideration and recommendations to the General Medical Council (GMC) by the Curriculum Advisory Group

Scope of review

The review will focus on, but not be exclusive to, the following items:

  • Consider each of the 10 key learning outcome areas and focus on whether they are fit for purpose or whether they should be removed or amalgamated into an Optional Special Interest Learning Outcome (OSILO)
  • Consider the delivery of public health training with a focus on any core learning outcomes which could be added. Also consider the role and purpose of OSILOs and whether additional ones are required
  • Consider the make up of the training phases, such as placements in councils, which will grow in importance and whether, as currently defined, they adequately promote flexibility in training. Consideration will be given to whether learning outcomes are tested in the appropriate phase
  • Consider public health 'on-call arrangements and whether the guidance for on-call practise is fit for purpose
  • Consider the development of a new learning outcome based around metacompetence and whether this approach would be a valid way to assess meta-competence in the practise of public health. This work is aimed at designing an assessment system for the public health specialist training scheme that could assess readiness for consultant practice prior to the completion of training
  • Consider workplace based assessments and whether these are fit for purpose
  • Consider the compliance of the curriculum with the GMC Standards for Curricula and Assessment Systems (2010).
Next Steps

As per the timetable, the consultation has now been published and all documents related to it, including guidance for completing the consultation can be found here.

Various organisations, groups and other stakeholders are now being contacted and notified of the consultation and asked to submit a response.

The consultation closes on 3 March 2014.


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