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Length of training

Public Health training usually lasts five years, full-time. Part-time training is proportionately longer. The five years usually includes one year (full or part-time) on an academic course, and 48 months in specialty training posts.

Academic study

Shortly after being accepted on to a training scheme, registrars are likely to spend a year in a part or full-time academic course that will usually lead to a Masters or Diploma in Public Health, and provide most of the basic training to take the FPH Part A MFPH Examination.

Although this is usually undertaken within the first part of the specialty training programme, periods spent on academic courses do not count towards the 48 months of training required for the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

It is possible to gain entry to specialty training above the initial academic year of training if an appropriate academic course has been undertaken prior to entry.

Flexible training

Every post in public health is potentially available as a part-time post. Registrars should consult with their Training Programme Director and/or Faculty Adviser for more information on training part-time.

In order for part-time training to be counted towards the required 48 months of training, it must be at least half time (0.5 wte). The training unit is the week. Training time is counted full-time, or for part-time a proportional amount is counted i.e. whole time equivalent (wte).

Time out of training

Any period where a registrar has been absent for a total of 14 days or more  within each 12-month period (when a registrar would normally be at work) will trigger a review of whether their Certificates of Completion of Training (CCT) date needs to be extended.  For further information please see GMC Position statement on Time Out of Training

Recognition of previous experience

Retrospective recognition of training to count towards a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) criteria is no longer possible for new entrants to specialty training who are seeking recognition with the General Medical Council (GMC).

Medical registrars are able to have previous experience/training recognised via the CESR (CP) option.

Future recognition of overseas training experience

The General Medical Council (GMC) may approve training outside the UK towards the award of a CCT. However, such training must be approved prospectively by the GMC. Retrospective approval is not permitted. To be eligible for a CCT, the registrar must complete a full UK specialty training programme in prospective GMC approved posts and programmes.

Overseas posts will only count if:

  • they are part of an approved CCT programme;
  • are supervised;
  • have prospective GMC approval.

This time in training is formally known as Out of Programme Training (OOPT) or Research (OOPR). Please see the GMC guidance on OOPE for further details.

Guidance from the UK Public Health Register (UKPHR) regarding recognition of prior experience and learning for registrars from disciplines other than medicine.

Following a Board meeting of the UK Public Health Register on 22 April 2014, the Board has formally decided to cease the Retrospective Recognition of Specialty Training route.

This decision has effect from end May 2015.

UKPHR has agreed with the UK Faculty of Public Health to implement a CESR (CP) policy in succession to the aforementioned route from summer 2015.


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