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Training the public health workforce

We are working with our partners on a range of projects to strengthen our public health workforce.

Postgraduate qualifications are essential to progress in public health.  The senior level public health workforce will be strengthened within local authorities, Public Health England and NHS England by offering bursary places for postgraduate public health training including certificate, diploma and master level public health qualifications.  Individuals will be nominated through local authority based directors of public health.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) and Foundation Level public health training is an entry point into public health and a career development route for community and voluntary workers including health trainers, health champions, community development workers and other third sector staff. Bursaries for NVQ and foundation level courses in public health like the Open University Certificate will be made available.

Eight environmental health graduate interns were jointly funded by local authorities in 2015 on 12 fixed contracts for environmental health professional (EHPs) to complete their training.

South West Review of the Sexual Health Workforce has a multi-disciplinary approach to sexual health services and there is a need to identify training requirements and signposting of courses. The Office for Sexual Health South West is reviewing the current status.

Men’s Health Forum Training Course has been created as men are often considered ‘hard to reach’ when it comes to health. Based on the latest research and best practice, the Men’s Health Forum’s one day workshop pulls the learning together into a practical, accessible package that will help anyone working in men’s health to reach more men, interest more men and improve the health of men.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) delivers learning to intervene and help prevent the immediate risk of suicide. Support has been provided for training trainers around an evidence-based programme. 

Public Health Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Network

The Avon Gloucester Wiltshire Public Health Network was established in 2015. The network runs CPD events for all staff, so there is now complete coverage across the south west. Funding has been provided to stimulate the development of an annual health protection update that is scheduled to take place in October 2016.


Initial work for a public protection apprenticeship has been underway in the south west. This is to provide an entry level qualification into environmental health and develop a career route into the profession.

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