The format employed for the Final Membership Examination is an Objective Structured Public Health Examination (OSPHE). This is a ‘show how’ role-play based assessment of a candidate's ability to apply and integrate relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes to the practice of public health. The scenarios in the OSPHE are chosen to represent everyday public health issues in commonly experienced settings and are often based on the experiences of question setting examiners. Familiarity with NHS procedures or practices is not required. The OSPHE takes the form of six scenarios or ‘stations'. Each station lasts eight minutes and is preceded by eight minutes preparation time.

Competency assessment

A role player and an examiner assess candidates across the same five competency areas at every station. These are:

  • The ability to demonstrate presenting communication skills (verbal and non-verbal) appropriately in typical public health settings: presenting to a person or audience
  • The ability to demonstrate listening and comprehending communication skills (verbal and non-verbal) appropriately in typical public health settings: listening and responding appropriately
  • The ability to assimilate relevant information from a variety of sources and settings and using it appropriately from a public health perspective
  • The ability to demonstrate appropriate reasoning, analytical and judgement skills, giving a balanced view within public health settings
  • The ability to handle uncertainty, the unexpected, challenge or conflict
OSPHE topic areas

The six scenarios aim to cover the breadth of public health and its application. The following are the main categories considered:

  • Health Protection e.g. case and outbreak management, immunisation services, and environmental subjects
  • Health Improvement e.g. lifestyle and behavioural interventions at individual and population level, assessment of wider determinants of health, primary prevention
  • Healthcare e.g. service delivery and/or improvement, access to treatment, assessment of inequalities, screening services, working with patients, professionals or organisations, secondary and tertiary prevention
  • Data: e.g. interpretation, explanation, utilisation, and assessment of quality

The scenarios also cover a variety of settings, for example:

  • Working with the Media e.g. journalist (newspaper, radio) or press officer
  • Meetings with lay people e.g. member of parliament, local councillor, chair of voluntary organisation, patient, parent or community leader;
  • Working with other professionals e.g. Director of Adult Social Care, Director of Public Health, commissioning manager or healthcare staff (clinician, management)
Method of delivery

Since November 2020, the exam has been administered online and it will remain online for 2021. It is the responsibility of the candidate to choose an appropriate location to sit it and to make the arrangements to do so.

The location should be quiet and appropriate for a professional examination with sufficient internet access. It should also be somewhere the candidate will not be disturbed for the duration and where no one else will be in the room. Further detail on the interim regulations for the Faculty of Public Health online examinations are available here.

Candidates should make sure they have the appropriate equipment to enable access to the online exam. Details are outlined here:

  • A personal computer, or laptop, with a keyboard. Tablets or phones are not acceptable devices
  • Minimum free hard drive storage space: 20 GB
  • Minimum RAM (memory): 4 GB (recommended 8 GB)
  • A screen with a minimum diagonal size of 12.9” / 32.8 cm. As the IT platform is not designed to support multiple monitors, only one screen should be used
  • Web camera (internal or external)
  • Headphones or speakers
  • Microphone (internal or external)

If using equipment supplied by their employer, candidates may need their employer’s IT support to make adjustments so that the exam software can run correctly. Further details on how to test equipment prior to the exam is provided in the candidate guidance that is received by all registered candidates for an exam.

Software and internet connections:
  • Operating systems: Windows – Windows 7 or later, Mac – 10.12 Sierra or later
  • Access to the exam platform: Pratique is hosted on a website that needs the latest version of one of the following browsers to enable access: Chrome (minimum version 78), Firefox (minimum version 60), Safari (minimum version 12) or Edge (minimum version 79). The recommended browser is Chrome. Please do not use Internet Explorer
  • Zoom; used for candidate briefings on the day of the exam (
  • A stable internet connection with a minimum of 450kbps up and 1.6Mbps down. Hotspot connections or wireless dongles are not recommended as they do not provide a robust and reliable enough connection for the duration of the exam
Optional items
  • A pen, notepaper and a highlighter: candidates can use these for making their own notes in the preparation stations and then may use these notes for reference in the examination stations. All notes should be destroyed immediately after the exam has finished
  • Drinks and snacks: candidates may have a clear bottle/glass of water with them during the exam. They may also have a snack in a clear bag on the desk but this should only be consumed during a preparation station. No food should be eaten during the examination stations



Final Membership Examination: Telephone number: 0203696 1484 / e-mail address:

Finance: Telephone number: 0203 696 1465 / e-mail address: