Memorandum. The Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of the United Kingdom. (Registered Charity No )

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1 Memorandum The Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of the United Kingdom (Registered Charity No ) History and role The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) was established in 1972 as a joint faculty of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, following a central recommendation of the Royal Commission on Medical Education ( ), which acknowledged the importance of public health as a specialist discipline within medicine. The Royal Commission s findings and recommendations highlighted the urgent need to create a single professional body that would be responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining professional training, development and standards in the field of public health 1. From the outset, FPH was created as an independent professional body, but under the auspices of its three parent Royal Colleges in order to ensure that public health consultant status was recognised as equivalent to consultant status in the other medical specialties. As such, FPH is the recognised regulatory body responsible for public health under all schemes for specialist registration in the UK. It also has statutory responsibility for ensuring that standards for good public health practice are applied to the appointment of all senior public health posts at consultant or equivalent level (including Director of Public Health posts) 2. In addition, FPH not only has delegated statutory responsibility for setting the standards for and quality assuring the postgraduate training of doctors in public health 3, it is also expected that it will be given delegated statutory duties for the administration and quality assurance of proposed new systems for the revalidation of specialist public health consultants in the near future. 1 The Royal Commission on Medical Education recommended that doctors in public health, medical administration or related teaching and research should form a single professional body concerned with the assessment of specialist training for and standards of practice in community medicine. Immediately after the publication of the Commission s Report in 1968, J. N. Morris invited leaders in the three strands of activities to meet and discuss the proposal. A series of informal meetings led to the setting up, in 1969, of a Working Party (chaired by J. N. Morris), which negotiated with the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh, Glasgow and London for them to create a faculty of community medicine. In November 1970 the Colleges set up a Provisional Council (chaired by W. G. Harding), later Board, and the Faculty formally came into existence on 15 March National Health Service (Appointment of Consultants) Regulations 1996 (Statutory Instrument 1996 No 701 and its amendments). 3 This responsibility was delegated by the Postgraduate Medical Education & Training Board (PMETB) under The General & Specialist Medical Practice (Education, Training & Qualifications) Order /9

2 Key dates 1968 Royal Commission on Medical Education recommends the formation of a single professional body for community medicine 1972 Inaugural meeting of The Faculty of Community Medicine 1988 Publication of the Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health report (the Acheson Report) on public health strengthening and the public health function 1989 Change of name to the Faculty of Public Health Medicine 2002 Public Health Specialty is opened up to non-medical professions 2003 UK Voluntary Register for Public Health Specialists (now known as the UK Public Health Register) established 2003 Change of name to the Faculty of Public Health Membership FPH has a current membership of about 3,000. The membership is comprised of a range of public health specialists mostly working at consultant-level in the NHS (including local directors of public health), senior trainees in public health, academics in public health, people working at a senior level in various health-related bodies such as the UK Departments of Health, Health Protection Agency and National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE). FPH elects to its own classes of membership and conducts its own examinations and assessments 4. Education, training, assessment and examinations FPH has developed a rigorous training and assessment programme aimed at developing a competent and effective specialist public health workforce. Public health trainees are chosen via a national selection process and normally undergo a minimum of five years of training and assessment which includes annual appraisals, two specialty examinations and a review at the end of training. The examination, appraisal and assessment process is designed to assess the competencies gained within the programme of training designed by FPH and is a requirement for award of the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and has been the 4 The Faculty awards different classes of membership which vary according to an individual's level of training, experience or contribution to the field of public health. The first of these categories is Specialist Registrar/Specialist Trainee/Specialty Registrar Membership, available only to those currently on a recognised specialty training scheme. On completion of the Faculty's Part A examination, an individual may progress to Diplomate Membership, and will become a full Member on completing the Part B/OSPHE MFPH examination. Full membership entitles the member to use the postnominals, MFPH. Fellowship of the Faculty is awarded once an individual completes their specialist training and is accepted onto a specialist register in public health usually the GMC or GDC Specialist Register or the UK Public Health Register (UKPHR). A Fellow of the Faculty is entitled to use the postnominals, FFPH. 2/9

3 requirement for entry to the specialist registers maintained by the General Medical Council (GMC) and the General Dental Council (GDC). The importance of public health and its growing relevance to other medical specialties is such that FPH is now working with other medical royal colleges to develop public health modules in other specialties such as primary care physicians, paediatricians, psychiatrists and nurses. FPH is a (founding) member of both the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) and the Joint Medical Consultative Council (JMCC). International Almost 12% of the FPH membership practise outside of the UK, mostly in Commonwealth countries, and the organisation has a network of overseas regional advisers throughout the world working to promote and strengthen public health capacity and leadership. FPH has been collaborating with the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine (HKCCM), delivering the FPH specialty examinations for more than ten years. In terms of international projects and initiatives, FPH has been working with the UK Department of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe to develop a technical assistance programme to build the public health capacity of countries to effectively address the social determinants of health inequality and health inequity. The organisation is also working with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), providing technical support for the integration of five regional health institutions in the Caribbean to create a single regional Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). FPH is also a founder member of the Zambia/UK Health Workforce Alliance and the Public Health Foundation of India UK Consortium. Both initiatives are designed to address the human resources for health deficit and to develop the public health workforce in these countries. FPH members were involved in establishing the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the European Public Health Association (EUPHA). FPH European projects include: SPHERE (Strengthening Public Health Research in Europe) and a major patient safety conference in Porto, Portugal in Both SPHERE and PORTO were funded under the European Commission s Sixth Framework Programme for Research. FPH is also a founding member of the International Forum of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC). 3/9

4 Management and finance Although established under the auspices of its three parent Royal Colleges, FPH has always operated as an independent professional body. It is an independent registered charity (charity number: ) and is governed by a separate Board of Trustees. Members of the Board are democratically elected by the FPH membership. FPH is financially independent of its parent Royal Colleges and this is in line with the guidelines laid down by the Charity Commission of England & Wales. The latest annual accounts are attached. Interaction with Government departments FPH interacts extensively with the Department of Health (and the NHS) and occasionally with other government departments such as DEFRA, DCMS, DWP and the Home Office. FPH also links with a number of arm s length bodies such as the Health Protection Agency (HPA), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the General Medical Council and the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB). Charter status The Faculty of Public Health is unique that it is the only body with statutory responsibility for setting professional standards for accredited public health specialists and consultants in the UK. Uniquely, it works closely with the General Medical Council, General Dental Council and UK Public Health Register to regulate the specialty of Public Health. It also provides the main recognised professional home for public health specialists and consultants, ensuring that they remain competent throughout their professional careers. FPH has carried out all of the functions of a Medical Royal College for nearly 40 years and it therefore distinguishable from other public health organisations, such as the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) or the UK Public Health Association (UKPHA). Another distinct feature is the membership criteria that are applied. Unlike other public health organisations in the UK, FPH membership is restricted to those individuals who have demonstrated high standards in the science and art of Public Health through statutorily recognised examinations, through a portfolio of experience accredited by the UK Public Health Register, or through election by peers based on evidence of achievement at a senior level. Incorporation by Royal Charter would represent the most appropriate and fitting route for an organisation such as FPH, which owes its very existence to a key recommendation made by the Royal Commission on Medical Education. Charter status will therefore serve to confirm 4/9

5 and recognise the importance of public health as well as the role played by FPH and its members. FPH has now received formal written support and endorsement from all four Chief Medical Officers via Sir Liam Donaldson and its three parent Royal Colleges. Copies of these letters of support are attached to this Memorandum. Given the increasing national and international importance of public health, Charter status will serve to support, advance and strengthen the public health profession as it addresses the significant national and international public health challenges of today and in the future. If granted, the incorporated body will be called the College of Public Health. 5/9

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