Quality improvement is a core responsibility of Health Education England. Quality assuring education curricula and placements for learners has been successfully in place for some time across the North West between Health Education England working across the North West education commissioners and HEI providers. Expanding this to include public health and the prevention agenda is both timely, makes good sense and provides a practical response in improving organisational commitment to public health outcomes.

This is a piece of work to develop a quality assurance toolkit for public health content in undergraduate healthcare curricula.

The purpose of the toolkit is to quality assure the undergraduate education curricula in the North West for public health content. The indicators were drawn from the Framework for Personalised Care and Population Health for Nurses, Midwives, Health Visitors and Allied Health Professionals which has since been update to the All Our Health document in June 2016. The toolkit draws on six key areas of population health activity - the first four are drawn from the four public health domains outlined in the in the public health outcomes framework of health improvement, health protection, wider determinants of health and healthcare public health. It includes a further two from the Compassion in Practice framework.

The toolkit domains have been pulled from the above framework as it has been developed to maximise the public health role of nurses, health visitors, midwives and AHP’s.

The rationale for using that framework is simply that it is applicable to the health improvement and prevention role of a wide range of the healthcare workforce and therefore provides a common core set of requirements to adhere to and or work towards.

One of the key functions of Health Education England working across the North West is to quality assure the education curricula as part of the education commissioning and procurement processes.

Evidence provided by all providers need to demonstrate how learners gain knowledge and skills associated with the public health priorities outlined in the following key PHE policy document: From evidence into action: opportunities to protect and improve the nation’s health: PHE Oct 2014

The evidence examples are indicative only and it is assumed that all associated learning in public health practice would need to resonate with the learner’s particular sphere of practice such as mental health nursing or occupational therapy for example.

EXCEL version of the Toolkit (use for data collection and monitoring)

PDF version of the Toolkit (use as a reference guide)

Poster: Quality Assuring Health & Wellbeing Content in Healthcare Education Curricula

Innovation Case Study

The Public Health Quality Assurance Toolkit will:

  • Provide a baseline set of data regarding public health content at individual curricula level, HEI and NW level.
  • Provides a systematic and common methodology for quality assuring undergraduate healthcare curricula to ensure a fit for purpose workforce that supports the delivery of the HEE Mandate, HEE Public Health action plan, Public Health Workforce Strategy, and NHS Five Year Forward View.
  • Provide evidence of HEI plans to add and or improve public health content of the undergraduate health professions curricula.
  • Provide an evidence base to inform joint working towards improving health and reducing health inequalities through development of a common core set of required public health competences for the undergraduate health and social care professional workforce.
  • Supports inter organisational learning and good practice between higher education institutions.
  • Provides a clear and transparent quality assurance process between education commissioners and providers in the North West.
  • Enable HEI’s to demonstrate their contribution to public health education skills and knowledge development and delivery.

Our Actions:

  • A stakeholder engagement event was held in May 2015 that provided early feedback regarding the principle of public health education as a quality assurance issue and the detail within the toolkit itself. To find out more and to download the resources please visit Our Network Events page.
  • Task & Finish Group to finalise the resource and support piloting
  • Pilot results presented at a variety of fora
  • Phase 2 of the work to implement 

For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.