Engaging with the wider public health workforce

RSPH has over 150 years of experience in championing and supporting the wider public health workforce through education, training, and research. A skilled and well-trained workforce is essential for better public health, and one of the key commitments in our 2022-2027 Strategic Plan is to identify the needs of the wider workforce, where we can build on our support for them, and what policy calls we can make on their behalf.


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.”

"By 2035 there will be a clearly defined wider public health workforce that has accessible professional pathways and standards to support career development, help to secure better paid work, and demonstrate contribution to large scale health prevention, protection, and improvement.
Anyone working within the wider public health workforce should be able to be recognised as a person with public health skills, to understand the routes they have to develop their skill, competency, and career and recognise 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.
RSPH has a clear role in this to help define, develop, and recognise the wider public health workforce."

RSPH mission statement on supporting the public health workforce, 2023


Our aim

Throughout 2023, RSPH will be carrying out engagement to gather insight from the public health sector - including through hearing directly from the wider workforce, working with stakeholders and existing professional groups to

  • Gather evidence and stories from the wider workforce– with a focus on the diversity and impact of the work they do.
  • Raise awareness of who the wider public health workforce is and their valuable contribution to the health of the nation (who, what, how...)
  • Develop and launch a comprehensive education pathway for the wider workforce, supporting people into public health careers, and providing clarity on career progression.

How to get involved

In order to gather the experiences and concerns of the wider public health workforce, we will use a range of methods including engagement events, focus groups and by tapping into existing networks. Alongside this, we will also highlight the wide range of people who make up this workforce, their career paths, and the impact they have had on public health through a series of blogs and championing through our networks. We will be updating our website with more information in the lead up to Public Health Workforce Week 2023 (2-6 October). 

We are inviting members of the wider public health workforce to fill out a short survey to tell us about your experiences, the challenges you are facing, and what we can do to support you.


We would love to hear from organisations about the challenges they face and the impact their workforce has on public health - contact our policy team [email protected] .
For example, Michael Chang from UK Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and PhD student shares his thoughts in a guest blog.