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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.

Standards for Public Health teams

In 2015, FPH will be working to develop the Functions of the local public health system document (see below) to ensure it is representative of employment settings in all the devolved nations. We will also be working to develop standards of excellence within public health teams. Alongside this work we will be working with Public Health England and other stakeholders to establish a data and intelligence system which supports the development of a specialist workforce strategy and will allow assessment of capacity across the country – the initial priority being PH capacity within Local Authorities. This will help, for example, the detection of strategic and short term trends in changes in the specialist  workforce, the development of models of what good could look like, and areas where PH specialist leadership capacity is strong , adequate and weak against benchmarks

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.

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