Training in Local Authorities 2012
What Local Authorities can get from recognition as training locations for public health Specialty Registrars:a briefing for Local Authority Chief Executives and Strategic Directors
The North West School of Public Health can offer high calibre public health practitioners to work with host Local Authorities as part of their specialist training
The School of Public Health appoints up to 12 Specialty Registrars (StRs) each year after highly competitive national recruitment. They undergo a five year work based specialist training programme in about 30 approved locations. StRs are senior public health practitioners from backgrounds such as environmental health, nursing, health informatics, and medicine. On graduation from the School, StRs find jobs as public health experts and leaders in the health and social care sector. Many of them become Directors of Public Health.
Local Authorities can be appropriate training locations for the School of Public Health. Specialty Registrars come at no direct cost to organisations. They are all employed by a lead employer on behalf of the School. The lead employer has responsibility for pay, employment matters, and conduct. Host organisations are not required to pick up any employment costs.
There is a formal quality assurance process in the School, and support to meet the educational needs of Speciality Registrars.
What a Local Authority would gain from hosting Specialty Registrars
The Local Authority would gain one or more Specialty Registrars as members of workplace teams for periods up to two years at a time. Specialty Registrars can contribute to organisational objectives and department capacity (relevant to their training needs), develop staff public health awareness and skills, and strengthen external relationships with the NHS, other LAs, and Public Health England. Specialty Registrars spend five years training on the job:
- They are usually at one training location for 12 months, maximum of 2 years
- In years 3 and 4 they can take lead roles for projects or programmes, as appropriate to their abilities and training needs
- In year 5 Specialty Registrars can undertake consultant/ specialist level responsibilities under supervision.
What are the necessary standards and features of specialist public health training locations?
Specialist training in public health is quality assured, alongside postgraduate medical specialties, by the North West School of Public Health on behalf of the General Medical Council (GMC). All training locations have to be approved as meeting GMC standards for training. Here are some features of good training locations that we look for before we apply for approval:
- A strong multidisciplinary public health team, with more than one Faculty of Public Health approved public specialist in post.
- At least one public health trainer accredited by the North West School, with time apportioned for educational activities in their job plan. A reasonable allocation for a lead trainer is one session (half day) per fortnight in their job plan.
- Evidence of organisational commitment to training and continuing professional development for public health staff.
- Willingness amongst leaders in the organisation to support training
- Practical support and equipment: IT, desk, phone, administrative support