The wider public health workforce plays a vital role in supporting and delivering public health across a huge range of settings. Our working definition of the wider public health workforce is
Throughout 2023, RSPH has been engaging with the wider public health workforce to find out about the challenges they face and how they might be better supported around career development and delivering public health. As part of this, we hosted a Roundtable in September 2023 to gather insight from expert organisations which represent, or include, members of the wider public health workforce.
RSPH has also been gathering the views of the wider public health workforce through our survey, to find out more click here.
Whilst we acknowledge that the wider public health workforce is vast, three key principles emerged from the discussion: that this workforce is not currently as valued and acknowledged as it should be; that leadership and investment are crucial to support them to work across a range of public health settings; and that training and visible routes into public health are needed.
- Recognition of the wider public health workforce - as people with expertise and skills in public health, who will understand the routes available to develop their skills, competency, and career and will recognise, understand, and be proud of the impact that they can have on public health and wellbeing.
- Defining who the wider public health workforce is - through mapping the range of systems and settings in which they currently work.
- Development of competencies for those working across public health - which are inclusive, flexible, and adaptable for their sector.
- Leadership has an important role - in championing and supporting the wider public health workforce to develop, alongside encouraging collaboration with the core public health workforce.
- Adequate investment - in public health systems, people, and services.
- The wider public health workforce has a clear role to play outside of traditional public health settings - including increasing the role that employees and businesses have in supporting the health and wellbeing of their employees and local communities.
Training & Development:
- There need to be more visible routes into public health – so that working in wider public health is seen across society as an accessible and rewarding career.
- High-quality training and qualifications are crucial - alongside accessible pathways to develop skills and support career progression, underpinned by equalities, diversity, and inclusion principles.
- Utilising transferable skills across the wider public health workforce - to allow transition between roles and settings/sectors.