What Local Authorities can Expect from Becoming a Training Location within the South West Public Health Specialty Training Programme 

 A Briefing for Local Authorities 

The South West Public Health Specialty Training Programme is a regional training programme for future directors and consultants in public health.  Up to 40 registrars undertake 5 years of specialist training through placements at a range of training locations.  

The Programme is regulated by the General Medical Council (GMC), as is the case for all medical specialty training programmes.  Public Health is unique in training future specialists from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds.  The GMC sets standards that must be met by us and training locations.  The Programme is funded centrally via Health Education England South West.  

The Specialty Registrars are employees of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The lead employer takes responsibility for pay and employment matters, whilst training is provided in Public Health departments across the South West. 

Within the training location, the Specialty Registrar needs to be supervised by a Public Health educational supervisor who is accredited by the Health Education England standards.  The supervisor and Specialty Registrar agree a learning agreement which can feature a range of work, provided that this will enable them to achieve learning outcomes set out in the Faculty of Public Health Curriculum. A local authority public health training location will need to provide work facilities for the Specialty Registrar, but will not need to make any financial contribution towards their employment costs or usual expenses. 

How Registrars can Contribute in a Local Authority Placement 

A typical placement in a local authority will be for about 2/2.5 years. Specialty Registrars work towards department and organisational objectives relevant to their training needs. They can lead innovative projects and develop partnerships with other organisations.  Two local authority placements are required for Specialty Registrar’s five year training programme. During this time Specialty Registrars will be allowed to do shorter specialist placements or take time ‘out of programme’ e.g. to undertake research in phase 2 of training.  Some registrars pursue academic training involving additional time working in Universities. The last few months of training may involve Acting Uas a Consultant.   

Standards and Features of Training Locations 

Our programme is quality assured by Health Education England on behalf of the GMC.  All training locations need to be approved and recognised by the GMC.  

In assessing training locations, we look for: 

  • A strong multidisciplinary public health team who have gained educational supervisor accreditation. 

  • Leadership for specialty training provided by a designated specialty tutor, who participates in quality assurance e.g. ensuring that there are governance arrangements covering training. 

  • Educational supervisors who have time in their job plans to provide supervision.   

  • A culture conducive to learning and development, with evidence of organisational commitment to training and continuing staff development, including support from the organisation’s leaders. 

  • Availability of practical facilities for Specialty Registrars including access to a desk, phone, a computer enabling report writing, statistical analysis, on-line information and search facilities.