Retrospective Recognition route
The Retrospective Recognition route provides formal recognition of competencies for those already working at a senior level either as generalists or defined specialists.
The Defined Arm of the Register was opened in June 2006. Entry to the register will be based on knowledge and experience, demonstrated against ten key areas of competence.
Each applicant completes a portfolio demonstrating that they have the acquired knowledge base in public health, that they know how to apply this knowledge and that they can demonstrate application in their public health practice (“knows and knows how” and “shows how”). This will be submitted to the multidisciplinary Registration Panel.
The framework for the retrospective portfolio assessment process will be reviewed in 2009. It is anticipated that as there are as yet no prospective standard training programmes, this will remain an important route to the Defined Arm of the Register for some considerable time.
Recognition of Specialist Status
In September 2005 the Joint Board reviewed the position of entry for Generalists via the Retrospective Recognition route, bearing in mind that funded top-up training had been available in parts of the UK and that the first three years of the Register had been seen as a “transitional” period.
The Joint Board agreed that in future generalists would have to justify submissions via this route, and a full statement about this was placed on the website in November 2005. This indicated that:
“there may be circumstances, either personal or professional which result in an individual being unable to submit a retrospective portfolio prior to May 31st 2006... Candidates will have to provide a clear substantiated statement of their reasons for seeking to submit their portfolio for the generalist category... Statements should be sent to the UKVRPHS at least two months in advance of the intended submission date.”
This acknowledges that there are, and will continue to be, those working at senior levels, for example overseas or in different settings, who will need to be able to demonstrate their competency at specialist level. This route (Recognition of Specialist Status), subsequently exempts those applicants, who fall into the category described, from formal training programmes.
Portfolio development support
The four UK Departments of Health have invested resource into the support of public health professionals wanting to develop their portfolios for retrospective assessment by the UKVRPHS. This is a separate workstream to the UKVRPHS, although obviously related to it.
A virtual centre to provide advice to senior public health professionals, the public health Development Needs Assessment Centre (DNAC) is managed by the Public Health Resource Unit in Oxford.
DNAC also maintain an up to date list of contact details for each English region, for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, who can provide local advice and support.
UK Public Health Register
As of 1 February 2008 the UK Voluntary Register for Public Health Specialists will be know as the UK Public Health Register.