Protecting the public’s health

In addition to advances in health protection, the prevention and control of infectious diseases and other threats has provided the opportunity to optimise the public's health

17 million lives

saved by measles vaccine worldwide since 2000

Air pollution is linked to

40,000 early deaths

a year in the UK

Over one million cases

of food poisoning each year in the UK

Our areas of focus

Food safety

Food safety is one of our primary areas when it comes to protecting the public’s health. Our qualifications provide those working in food preparation and handling sector with the opportunity to learn about all aspects of food safety and hygiene in order to handle, prepare and serve food that is safe to consume.

Ensuring those handling and serving food in restaurants, takeaways and other establishments are fully aware of the precautions that need to be taken to avoid these extreme reactions is crucial to enable those with allergies to eat out confidently and safely. A recent RSPH investigation in this area found that two thirds of fast food takeaways were breaking the law when it came to providing allergen information to customers.

Pest control

We are a leading provider of qualifications in pest control which cover everything from the management of rodents to the safe use of rodenticides, as well as health and safety and accident prevention measures.

Legislation dictates many aspects of pest control so it is vital technicians are properly qualified for any work they may be undertaking. Our pest control qualifications provide expert knowledge and practical skills for anyone working in the field and keep them at the forefront of best practice.


A key area of advocacy is vaccinations, particularly the extension of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccinations to all adolescent boys. Currently, HPV vaccinations are only offered to girls and men who have sex with men (MSM).

There is strong evidence to suggest that extending coverage to boys would reduce cancers resulting from HPV carriers. We are a member of HPV Action, an advocacy group comprised of 47 patient and professional organisations that campaigns as a united voice to reduce the health burden from HPV.

Water safety

We have a strong focus on raising awareness surrounding water supply, sanitation and hygiene – all of which are critical public health issues in the UK and around the world. Our Special Interest Group (SIG) for water is made up of expert members in the field. Its role includes responding to government consultations, sharing best practice and competencies and organising seminars and workshops to disseminate information.

We also run a series of water webinars that are hugely popular, accessible and informative. They are conducted by experts from around the world and offer a chance for debate and the sharing of different perspectives on a global scale.

Our other strategic priorities

Health at every age

Our vision is to optimise health and wellbeing for all. This covers every age and stage, from giving every child the best start in life, through to providing critical support at key milestones such as the teenage years, ultimately enabling …

Improving the public's health

Our work to improve the public’s health recognises the complex nature of changing behaviour, and that this is often driven by social determinants of health rather than personal choice

Wider Public Health Workforce

With over 15 million workers including firefighters, hairdressers and postal workers, the wider workforce can support the public’s health in a variety of ways

Working internationally

We work on an international platform, connecting thousands of members from around the world and delivering policy and projects which stimulate global debate

Our Strategic Priorities

Our strategic priorities define and determine our areas of focus so that we can maximise our impact and the delivery of our mission