The public health workforce is a rich and diverse workforce comprising people from a wide range of professional backgrounds and occupations.

The Health Careers website is a useful source of further information associated with public health careers and job roles as well as entry requirements and facts about the profession.

The Faculty of Public Health is the standard setting body for specialists in public health in the United Kingdom – providing registration and regulation for its members and professional development opportunities.

The UK Public Health Register is an independent, dedicated regulator for public health professionals in the United Kingdom, providing professional regulation to public health specialists and public health practitioners from a variety of backgrounds, all of whom have a common core set of knowledge, and skills. The Register is particularly for those public health professionals who have no other regulatory body.

Public health work focuses on health and wellbeing and protecting people from risks to their health.

There are three key themes of public health practice – some staff work across all three themes and others tend to focus on a single theme within their professional practice.

Public Health England works to protect and improve the nation's health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities and overall responsibility for public health sits within local authorities since the health reform driven by the Health & Social Care Act 2012

However, the public health workforce is scattered across a range of organisations including NHS provider organisations, LA academia and PHE.

The three pillars of public health are:

  • health protection - protecting people's health (for example from environmental or biological threats, such as food poisoning or radiation)
  • health improvement - improving people's health (for example by helping people quit smoking or improving their living conditions)
  • healthcare public health - ensuring that our health services are the most effective, most efficient and equally accessible 


In this section

Become a member

Becoming a member of the Population Health and Prevention Network gives you access to a wide variety of resources and opportunities to contribute and influence.