Wider Public Health Education Pathways

RSPH is the home of the wider public health workforce

Our vision is by 2035 there will be a clearly defined wider public health workforce that has accessible professional pathways and standards to support career development, help them to secure better-paid work, and demonstrate contribution to large-scale health prevention, protection, and improvement. 

Anyone working within the wider public health workforce will be recognised as a person with expertise and skills in public health, they will understand the routes available to develop their skills, competency, and career and they will recognise, understand and be proud of the impact that they can have on public health and wellbeing. 

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 develop and grow into public health roles whilst also using these pathways to lift people out of poverty and address longstanding inequalities.


Who is part of the wider public health workforce?

The wider public health workforce plays a vital role in supporting and delivering public health across a huge range of settings. Our working definition 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.”

For further information on the roles and professions included in this workforce, see our careers hub.


Priorities for the wider public health workforce

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.

Education pathways

In 2024 RSPH will launch sustainable education pathways for the wider public health workforce to:

  • Provide accessible routes into and along public health careers.
  • Drive equitable access to public health careers and diversify and amplify the voices that matter.
  • Support excellence at every level, with the development of future leaders, and provide a skilled workforce to support the delivery of public health services from the ground up.
  • Support employers to retain, progress, and support staff.
  • Provide a mechanism for recognising the contribution of this workforce.

Pathways will be developed under three domains of public health:

  1. Health Protection
  2. Health services (Healthcare Public Health)
  3. Health Improvement

These pathways support graduates and workers looking to start a career in public health, as well as professionals looking for career progression opportunities. Individuals accessing a pathway through RSPH would qualify at Practitioner level and attain RSPH Membership on completion of their studies.

Health Improvement Education Pathway

Register of interest for RSPH Health Improvement Education Pathway

In January 2024 RSPH will launch the first education pathway for people with an interest, or working, in health improvement roles. If you would like to undertake the Health Improvement for WPHW Pathway (pdf), please complete the form below.