Anyone working within the wider public health workforce should be recognised as a person with expertise and skills in public health, they should understand the routes available to develop their skills, competency, and career and they recognise, understand and be proud of the impact that they can have on public health and wellbeing. Our working definition of the Wider Public Health Workforce is “Any individual who is not a specialist or practitioner in public health but has the opportunity or ability to positively impact health and wellbeing through their work.”
We want the public health system to appreciate the wider workforce, but we also want the workforce to genuinely feel like they are part of public health so both they and the public health system understand the impact they are having. We want people to be able to develop and grow into public health roles whilst also using these pathways to lift people out of poverty and address longstanding inequalities.
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. You can read more about this here. From this work, RSPH has set out three core education priorities for this workforce:
- There need to be more visible routes into public health – so that working in wider public health is seen across society as accessible and rewarding.
- Training and qualifications are crucial - alongside accessible pathways to develop skills and support career progression.
- Utilising transferable skills across the wider public health workforce - to allow transition between roles and settings/sectors.
In 2024 RSPH will continue this work and launch accessible education pathways for the wider public health workforce to support graduates and workers looking to start a career in public health, as well as professionals looking for progression opportunities. They would drive equitable access to public health careers, support employers to retain and develop staff, and provide a mechanism for recognising the contribution of the workforce.
Fundamentally, pathways would open up routes into and along public health careers and provide well trained staff to ease the burden by supporting the public health workforce to deliver.