Back to top
Back to top

Professional Standards

The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) is the standard-setting body for public health in the United Kingdom. FPH provides professional advice to employers and others on statutory and good-practice procedures for senior public health appointments. In addition, FPH advocates on key public health issues and provides practical information and guidance for public health professionals, aiming to advance the health of the population through three key areas of work: health promotion, health protection and healthcare improvement.
FPH strives to maintain professional and educational standards for specialists in public health, as well as quality-assuring the profession, through its established continuing professional development (CPD) scheme and through the development of a revalidation system for public health specialists. For more information on these, please follow the links on the left.

FPH response to the consultation on regulation of non-medical PH specialists


The Faculty of Public Health has deliberated very carefully and thoughtfully in its response to the Department of Health consultation on statutory regulation for non-medical public health specialists. There is unanimous support for actively pursuing statutory regulation as soon as possible, to ensure safety for both public and employers, and equivalence across the profession. 

Our preference would be to maintain regulation with one body, the GMC or the UKPHR if this was possible in the short term. However, we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that neither of these are in a position to offer statutory regulation quickly and so, with some regret, we are unable to support them. 

The Health & Care Professions Council is a large established, experienced regulator and we believe this is the best option to obtain statutory regulation in the short term. We have specifically asked that Revalidation is also established as part of the register so we can move to full equivalence between medical and non-medical public health specialists. 

Download our full response to the Department of Health here.

Meradin Peachey, Vice-President, Standards 

Functions of the local public health system

FPH has developed a document setting out the local public health function in England. It was originally drafted by a working group led by Maggie Rae, FPH Local Board Member and Corporate Director of Public Health and Public Protection for Wiltshire Council, with help from Ruth Woolley, Frances Chinemana and many other FPH Fellows. It has subsequently been reviewed by a working group comprising representatives from the different domains of public health practice and from Public Health England.

These functions are written with the public health system in England in mind. However, we believe they are relevant to public health practice in other jurisdictions, and we recognise further development will be required to ensure local compatibility in this regard.

Public health requires effective action by many different organisations and players. The balance of responsibility will vary from place to place, but the essential functions which must be assured in every locality remain constant. It is these functions which we have set out in this document.

Download the functions document.

This document replaces the draft minimum standards for PH teams published by FPH in November 2013. If you have any comments please email

RPS Professional Standards for Public Health Practice for Pharmacy

Professional Standards for Public Health Practice for Pharmacy have been developed by a task group of the Pharmacy and Public Health Forum, led by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), with input from pharmacy practitioners and experts in both pharmacy and public health and across Great Britain. Both the Faculty of Public Health and the Royal Society for Public Health have endorsed the professional standards.

Pharmacy teams promote and protect health and wellbeing through their core role and as part of all the services they provide on a daily basis. Public health services have been part of pharmacy practice for many years. However, up until now there have not been any professional standards for public health practice for pharmacy to support the development and delivery of consistently high quality services and evaluation of those services. The nine overarching standards provide a framework to support pharmacists and their teams to improve their public health practice and shape future services and pharmacy roles to deliver quality public health services and interventions to improve people’s health. The standards will also help pharmacy teams, commissioners and those contracting services to design, implement, deliver and monitor high quality public health practice through pharmacy regardless of the pharmacy settings from which services are delivered.

The standards are intended primarily for use in England and Wales. The Scottish Government launched its vision and action plan Prescription for Excellence in September 2013. This vision dovetails and complements the aims and aspirations of Scotland’s 2020 Vision for Healthcare. The plan focuses on delivering safety, effectiveness and person-centeredness in pharmaceutical care and medicines and the RPS is committed to working with the Scottish Government and other stakeholders to ensure that pharmacists’ public health role is developed intrinsically within pharmaceutical care in a context of collaborative and cooperative partnership working with other health and social care professionals, in keeping with the aspirations of Scotland’s NHS.

We hope these standards will inspire and support pharmacists and their teams to develop their public health professional practice and aspire to excellence.

The standards are available to download from the RPS website and are accompanied by a glossary, a list of further resources and some frequently asked questions.

PHWAG task group on regulation

The Public Health Workforce Advisory Group (PHWAG) advises the four UK countries on current issues and future planning for the public health workforce. It has a comprehensive membership of stakeholder groups who are concerned with, or have an interest in, workforce planning and development.

It is in the process of developing a suite of papers that will clearly state PHWAG’s views on a number of specific issues related to workforce development. Each paper should be read in conjunction with other issues, depending on the area of guidance required. The papers have been developed in such a way as to make them acceptable to all four of the devolved administrations of the UK.

Please see:

PHWAG commissioned a task group to consider and agree core principles around issues relating to regulation which includes, but is not limited to, the reasons for regulation, routes to registration, chartering, future competencies and standards applied, the role of Advisory Appointment Committees (AACs) and sub specialties. The remit of the task group is to agree principles of regulation for the UK public health workforce, including both specialists and practitioners, and to disseminate its findings to UK health departments, regulators, employers, professional bodies and others with an interest in protecting and improving the health of the public.

The group has previously agreed the following statements:

  • The UK Public Health Specialist workforce should be regulated. This should include not just initial registration but revalidation to ensure the maintenance of standards and continuing professional development
  • FPH is the professional standard-setting body for specialist public health practice
  • The group supports in principle the idea of public health practitioner registration
  • An AAC should be a requirement for all Public Health Specialist appointments.


Back to top

Pages in this section