Examiners, who must be Fellows of the Faculty of Public Health or other appropriately qualified persons, are appointed by the Board on the recommendation of the Education Committee.


From time to time the Chair of Examiners reviews its panel of examiners and determines whether new nominations for examiners should be sought.

Nominations, if required, are sought from members of the Faculty Board, Faculty advisers, and heads of academic departments. [Recently, it has been the practice to request nominations very widely and self-nominations are also acceptable].

Nominations should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae and a signed agreement by the nominee that, if appointed, they are willing and able to devote the necessary time and to give the task appropriate priority.

Nominations will first be assessed by the Chair of Examiners with reference to the criteria set out below. Names of recommended examiners will be forwarded to the Education Committee for approval.

Criteria for Appointment

Applicants for the post of Diplomate or Final Membership examiner should have:

  • held the MFPH or relevant higher qualification for at least three years

  • hold a consultant or senior specialist post or, in the case of DFPH Examiners, a relevant teaching post

  • be able to demonstrate that they are up to date in their continuing professional development (CPD) requirements

  • be able to demonstrate that they have undertaken equality and diversity training.

Other factors to be taken into account are:

  • experience in the practice of public health or a relevant discipline

  • research experience

  • publications, including papers in peer review journals, reports, books and articles

  • papers given at scientific meetings

  • examining and teaching experience in a relevant field

  • experience of training in public health

  • evidence of participation in other activities relevant to the promotion of the standards and practice of public health

Retired Members as Examiners

The above criteria are applied strictly when appointing MFPH examiners. Retired members will not normally be recruited to become marking examiners. However, in certain cases (e.g. if they have specialist experience/skills that meet a DFPH section area) they may be approved as examiners if they meet all the criteria specified, and on the condition that they continue to ensure that they are up to date in their continuing professional development (CPD) requirements. All examiners are monitored on a regular basis to ensure they maintain this and all other criteria.

Terms of Appointment

Examiners must be thoroughly conversant with the examination syllabus or competencies and must be able to demonstrate the knowledge required and their commitment to the principles underlying the examination to the Chair of Examiners or the Academic Registrar before taking up their responsibilities.

DFPH Examiners are required to produce a minimum of one question per year for inclusion in the Question Bank. MFPH Examiners are required to produce two full questions per year. This will be monitored by the Education and Training Department.

Examiners will be expected to complete full training before taking up office. For the DFPH this includes completing a number of training exercises to the satisfaction of the Chair of Examiners. MFPH Examiners may serve as 'shadow' Examiners on at least one occasion before taking up office.

The term of office is three years, renewable once with the approval of the Chair of Examiners.

No Examiner may serve on both the DFPH and MFPH panels simultaneously. Examiners will be entitled to claim travel expenses in accordance with Faculty rules and procedures.

Grounds for removal or suspension of examiners

The Education Committee endorsed the following grounds for the removal and/or suspension of MFPH Examiners at their November 2008 meeting:

  1. Voluntary resignation from the Faculty.

  2. Those who cease to be in good standing for non payment of fees or subscriptions and therefore “forfeit all the rights and privileges of a member of the Faculty" (SO118).

  3. If the Board is satisfied after due enquiry that any member has gained admission to the Faculty "by fraud, false statement or imposition, or has acted in any respect in a dishonourable or unprofessional manner" (SO15) or by fraudulent claims of higher qualifications.

  4. Erasure or suspension from the appropriate specialist register; e.g. for health reasons or professional misconduct.

  5. Unauthorised disclosure of confidential information which Examiners are required not to divulge. All those appointed are required to sign a Declaration of Faith agreeing not to do this.

  6. Inability or refusal to perform the duties of an Examiner as required; e.g. continued unavailability to participate in MFPH, failure to produce a minimum of one question per year.

  7. Inappropriate behaviour or continued poor performance.

Role of the Chairs of examiners

The Chair is appointed by the Board on the recommendation of the Academic Registrar.

The normal term of office is three years (renewable for one further term).

The Deputy is an informal position with no fixed term of office. The primary task of the deputy is to assist the Chair and this role need not necessarily be seen as training for appointment as Chair in future.

Retirements of the Chair and Deputy should be staggered if possible to aid continuity. The agreed specific responsibilities of the Chair (and therefore the Deputy) are as follows:

  • to liaise with examiners to agree provisional marks

  • to chair examiners' meetings

  • to approve feedback and corrections/amendments as proposed by examiners

  • to oversee the administration process, assessment forms etc used

  • to provide advice and support to candidates, examiners etc

  • to chair training days for new examiners

  • to provide reports to the Education Committee on each sitting

  • to advise on the appointment, training, suspension and removal of examiners.

Role of the Academic Registrar

The Academic Registrar is normally kept informed of any particular problems with the examination and has responsibility for decision-making in the absence of the Chair (and Deputy). Normally, the Academic Registrar is kept away from the day-to-day administration of the examination so that additional advice or participation in appeals etc. may be provided where necessary.

For further information please see the Faculty's Standing Orders: EXAMINERS (Chapter 11)