South West Public Health Specialty Training Programme       

SECTION 1 - Programme description


These training posts offer the opportunity to gain a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in public health through a combination of relevant academic training, service experience and skills based training. Satisfactory completion of training will allow the individual to gain entry to the GMC specialist medical register/UK Voluntary Register for Public Health Specialists and to proceed to a substantive senior appointment in public health.

This is normally a five year training programme in Public Health aimed at doctors and graduates/professionals from a background other than medicine who can demonstrate the essential competences/experience to enter training. This includes a one year full time academic course to provide the essential knowledge for the discipline.



These posts offer a complete and comprehensive specialist training in Public Health to:

1)    Medical candidates with GMC registration who have undergone at least two years of post-qualification general professional training to Foundation level. Evidenced Foundation level competence or equivalent must be held within the preceding three and a half years.

2)    Candidates with a background other than medicine who have at least 48 months (wte) work experience of which a minimum of 24 months must be in an area relevant to population health practice. The 24 months should be at Band 6 or above of Agenda for Change or equivalent and a minimum of 3 months wte at Band 6 level or equivalent in the 3 and half years preceding. The first degree should be at 2:1 level or equivalent grade. Applicants with a PhD or other higher degree are also be eligible.

Full details of eligibility can be found in the 2022 person specification.



In the 2022 national recruitment round, the South West is advertising 5 vacancies. These will be distributed in the following training locations and rotation zones:

To be confirmed


The SW Public Health Specialty Training Programme is made up of a number of different departments, organisations and agencies working together to improve the health and well-being of people living in the region. The South West is the largest geographical region in England. It extends over 350 kilometres from the south-western tip of Cornwall to the northern border of Gloucestershire and the eastern borders of Wiltshire.

It is based in the Severn Postgraduate Medical Education and also serves the Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education. The programme is approved and regulated by the GMC for training.   The current programme includes up to 40 service registrar posts, NIHR-funded academic clinical fellows and locally funded lecturer posts. The training programme is managed locally in line with the South West Public Health Specialty Training Programme Policy.  

It is expected that all Specialty Registrars will either attend the University of Bristol, University of West of England or University of Exeter to complete the masters programme. Exceptions will be made for those wishing to request attendance at a different masters course for well founded personal reasons.

1.4.1 Training Locations

Specialty Registrars will be based in at least two different training locations during their 5 year contract, in addition to specialist shorter placements including health protection. The main service training bases will be within local authorities and United Kingdom Health Security Agency, Office of Health Improvement and Disparities, part of Department of Health and Social Care or NHS England/Improvement centres.

The training programme runs on a system of rotation zones, with each zone including four or five potential locations. Initial placement within rotational zones will be confirmed at offer stage.

Subsequent rotation moves will be within the allocated rotation zone.


The training locations are grouped into three rotational areas:


  • Cornwall & Isles of Scilly / Devon / Plymouth / Torbay


  • Gloucestershire / Wiltshire / Swindon / Bath & NE Somerset


  • Gloucestershire / South Gloucestershire / North Somerset / Bristol / Somerset 


Approved training locations are in the following locations:




Bath & North East Somerset




Cornwall and Isles of Scilly






North Somerset






South Gloucestershire









A map showing current locations and full address details can be found on the training programme web-site.


1.4.2 Placements

Trainees are encouraged to undertake a variety of approved additional placements to enhance their experience or to pursue special interest options. This may include working at a regional or national level at some point during their training. Specialist placements take place during the latter part of phase 2 of training (see FPH curriculum for more information on training phases).

Main training bases will offer training in all aspects of public health.  Local authority placements will offer opportunities for work with clinical commissioning groups.  Options for special interest placements within the South West region include:

Academic Public Health – a variety of placements available at University of Bristol, University of Exeter, University of the West of England.

Health Protection – Placement are available for all Specialty Registrars and those wishing to specialise in Health Protection.

Public Health Information - Placements may be available within the Knowledge and Intelligence Team (South West)

Health Services Public Health – Acute Trust placements may be arranged with local acute providers or an NHS England Area or Integrated Care System Team.


Other phase 2 opportunities include locations on the FPH national treasures list, available on Faculty of Public Health web-site.  

These specialist opportunities may themselves be subject to change in the current reorganisation. Career directed opportunity will however always be available.


1.4.3 Universities in the South West

The South West Public Health Training Programme is supported by three academic departments:

  • University of Bristol
  • The University of the West of England
  • University of Exeter

Members of these departments act as academic supervisors to Specialty Registrars and provide academic support including preparation for the Faculty of Public Health membership exams.  The departments have a variety of health care researchers who contribute to excellent working environments in which to undertake interdisciplinary research and teaching.  Academic short courses and library facilities are available to Speciality Registrars.  There is a regional tutorial programmme.


SECTION 2 - Job description

Post:                            Specialty Registrar in Public Health

Accountable to:             Educational supervisor

Reports to:                    Educational supervisor and academic supervisor

Liaises with:                  Training Programme Director

Terms and conditions:  The posts are whole-time and the appointments are subject to:

a) Terms and Conditions of Service for NHS Doctors and Dentists in Training (England and Wales) 2016, or Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions
b) Satisfactory registration with the General Medical Council (London) where applicable
c) Medical Fitness – You will be required to complete an Occupational Health questionnaire and may be required to undergo a medical examination or a follow up consultation as a result of this

d) Satisfactory references

Salary Scale:                The nationally agreed pay scales for these grades are payable.

2.1 Role Profile

The key functions of a public health department are to assess the health and health care needs of the population and to develop strategies for meeting them. The post holder will make a significant contribution to the work of the department in which they are placed, under the supervision of an educational supervisor, who will be a senior member of staff. Specialty Registrars will be expected to achieve public health learning outcomes as set out in the 2015 FPH curriculum through the work they undertake in departments, including:


  • Quantitative and qualitative assessment of the population’s health, including managing, analysing, interpreting and communicating information that relates to the determinants and status of health and wellbeing.  Integral to this is the assessment of population needs and its relationship to effective actions.
  • Critical assessment of evidence relating to the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of healthcare interventions, programmes and services including screening.  It concerns the application of these skills to practice through planning, audit and evaluation.
  • Influencing the development of polices, implementing strategies to put the policies into effect and assessing the impact on health.
  • Leading teams and individuals, building alliances, developing capacity and capability, working in partnership with other practitioners and agencies, and using the media effectively to improve health and well-being.
  • Promoting the health of populations by influencing lifestyle and socio-economic, physical and cultural environment through methods of health promotion, including health education, directed towards populations, communities and individuals.
  • Protection of the public’s health from communicable and environmental hazards by the application of a range of methods including hazard identification, risk assessment and the promotion and implementation of appropriate interventions to reduce risk and promote health.
  • Commissioning, clinical governance, quality improvement, patient safety, equity of service and prioritisation of health and social care services.
  • Collection, generation, synthesis, appraisal, analysis, interpretation and communication of intelligence that measures the health status, risks, needs and health outcomes of defined populations.
  • Teaching of and research into Public Health.

2.2 Academic training

The registrar will be expected to become a member of the Faculty of Public Health during the tenure of the post. Support for both Diplomate (DFPH) and Final Membership Exam (MFPH)  examination is available in the form of:

  • It is expected that all Specialty Registrars will attend either the University of Bristol, University of West of England or University of Exeter to complete the masters programme. Exceptions will be made for those wishing to request attendance at a different masters course for well founded personal reasons. This will be agreed with the Training Programme Director once an offer of employment has been made.
  • Academic supervision from a named academic tutor  
  • Provision of a regional tutorial programme

2.3 Supervision of service work

An educational supervisor will be responsible for supervision of the registrar’s work programme, which will be based on their annual learning agreement.  Taking account of the skills and experience of the registrar, the first learning agreement will be drawn up jointly by the supervisor and registrar within their first three months in post.  It will include regular protected time with the supervisor.  

2.4 Assessment

The registrar will undergo regular educational appraisal with his/her supervisor and maintain a training portfolio. An annual review of training is undertaken as part of the ARCP (Annual Review of Competence Progression) process.  The registrar will also undergo an employers workplace appraisal and meet statutory and mandatory employer’s training requirements.

2.5 Office facilities/support

Adequate office facilities will be provided, including access to a desk, computer and telephone.

2.6 Main conditions of service

The post is offered on a full-time basis. Those who wish to work part-time (but not less than half time) are invited to discuss this with the Training Programme Team.

The post involves an on-call commitment following success in the DFPH examination and once an appropriate level of competence has been achieved. The on-call commitment will be no more than one in eight.

The current employer is Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

There are three key documents which the Public Health Specialty Training Programme in the South West operates within. This includes Faculty of Public Health curriculum, national training arrangements as set out in the Gold Guide and the South West Public Health Specialty Training Programme policy. Please see the training programme website for further details,

2.7 European Working Time Directive (EWTD)

All posts comply with European Working Time Directive regulations.

2.8 Removal expenses

The reimbursement of removal expenses will be at the discretion of the Postgraduate Dean and subject to both employer policy and Severn Postgraduate Medical Education guidance. Registrars should not commit to any expenditure in connection with relocation before first obtaining advice and approval otherwise you may incur costs which you might be unable to claim.

Registrars are expected to live within a reasonable distance from their working base for reasons of health and safety. Any registrar who chooses to live a significant distance from their working base cannot receive travel expenses in lieu of relocation.

2.9 Further information

For detailed information about the programme please visit