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How important is public health practitioner registration to UK public health employers?

Evans, David; Gray, C.


David Evans
Professor in Health Services Research

C. Gray


Objectives: The objective of this study was to understand the extent to which public health practitioner registration is encouraged by UK employers through recruitment, i.e. by including registration as an essential or desirable criterion in job descriptions and person specifications.

Study design: A repeated survey was conducted on two main UK public health job websites.

Methods: Data were collected via a repeated structured search of all public health practitioner posts advertised in two specified weeks in March and September 2018 on two main UK public health jobs websites: local government jobs and National Health Service (NHS) jobs.

Results: Fifty-six posts were identified for inclusion in the study. Only one post (2% of the total) required UK Public Health Register (UKPHR) registration or working towards registration. It was more common but still a minority (13% or 23%) of posts to require registration with any relevant register (e.g. UKPHR, Nursing and Midwifery Council or Health and Care Professions Council). Most employers demonstrated a desire for flexibility with none requiring an MSc Public Health and a majority requiring any relevant degree or equivalent experience (46% or 82%). Evidence of continuing professional development was also commonly required (34% or 61%).

Conclusion: There is currently a mismatch between UK national policy support for public health practitioner registration and the value that registered practitioners place on it and the recruitment polices of many UK public health employers.


Evans, D., & Gray, C. (2019). How important is public health practitioner registration to UK public health employers?. Public Health, 171, 1-5.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 20, 2019
Online Publication Date May 6, 2019
Publication Date Jun 1, 2019
Deposit Date Jun 7, 2019
Publicly Available Date May 7, 2020
Journal Public Health
Print ISSN 0033-3506
Electronic ISSN 1476-5616
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 171
Pages 1-5
Keywords public health practitioner, registration, public health employers
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published version is available here:


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