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This apprenticeship has been retired

Overview of the role

Assessing and managing risk of disease and ill-health, and the prevention of premature deaths.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

Public Health Practitioners (PHPs) are found in a wide range of organisations including:

  • Local councils
  • Local or international agencies
  • National Health Service (NHS)
  • Business and industry
  • Voluntary and community agencies eg: charities

Public health practitioners (PHPs) work as part of a national workforce that strives to help people and communities to maximise their potential for a healthy, happy and productive life, to live healthier for longer.

PHPs focus on health at a community or population level, assessing and managing risk of disease and ill-health, and the prevention of premature deaths. They monitor and promote health and wellbeing to ensure fairer health outcomes between different communities and groups (health inequalities). They put in place protection measures to protect the public from environmental hazards and risks. They evaluate sources of evidence, interpret it and design and plan health interventions.

PHPs work independently and collaboratively, both within their organisation and with others, to initiate and develop public health interventions and services (eg: obesity prevention programmes; infection prevention and control programmes; national risk-assessment and screening programmes). They work in a wide range of settings (eg: office, community, healthcare), working with different types of organisations (see list above), and with professionals and members of the public. They will usually be part of a team of public health professionals and may report to public health specialists and consultants from a range of backgrounds (including medicine). They might be expected to work out-of-hours or on-call so they need to be flexible and adaptable.

As a professionally competent PHP they act autonomously within the scope of their role. They implement plans and policies, and may help to develop those plans. They take responsibility for their continuous development; and the development, and possibly the supervision, of others. They manage their own workload and the prioritisation of activities, utilising their problem solving skills in a complex and changing environment. They may also be responsible for resources such as people, budgets, equipment or facilities.

Typical job titles include:

Accident prevention officer Cardiovascular disease (cvd) prevention lead Community development worker Community engagement officer Health and wellbeing coordinator Health improvement practitioner Health protection practitioner Healthy lifestyles coordinator Immunisation programme coordinator Public health data analyst Public health intelligence officer Public health practitioner Public health project manager Tobacco control lead Workplace health advisor

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 measure, monitor and report population health and wellbeing; health needs, risks, and inequalities; and the use of services

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5

S1 S2 S3

B1 B2 B3

Duty 2 promote population and community health and wellbeing, addressing the wider determinants of health and health inequalities

K6 K7 K8 K9

S4 S5 S6

B4 B5 B6

Duty 3 protect the public from environmental hazards, communicable disease, and other health risks, while addressing inequalities in risk exposure and outcomes

K10 K11 K12 K13 K14

S7 S8 S9 S10

B1 B7 B8

Duty 4 access and use the evidence base, conduct research and provide informed advice

K15 K16 K17

S11 S12 S13 S14 S15

B1 B9 B10

Duty 5 audit, evaluate and re-design services and interventions to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities

K18 K19 K20 K54

S16 S17 S18

B3 B4 B7

Duty 6 work with, and through, policies and strategies to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities

K21 K22 K23 K24

S19 S20 S21

B5 B8 B9

Duty 7 work collaboratively across agencies and boundaries to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities

K25 K26 K27

S22 S23 S24

B4 B11 B12

Duty 8 work in a commissioning based culture to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities

K28 K29 K30 K31

S25 S26 S27

B3 B5 B10

Duty 9 work within political and democratic systems and with a range of organisational cultures to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities

K32 K33 K34 K35

S28 S29 S30 S31

B3 B5 B7 B9

Duty 10 provide leadership to drive improvement in health outcomes and the reduction of health inequalities

K36 K37 K38 K39

S32 S33 S34 S35

B4 B6 B8

Duty 11 communicate with others to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities

K40 K41 K42 K43

S36 S37 S38 S39 S40

B1 B4 B5 B11

Duty 12 design and manage programmes and projects to improve health and reduce health inequalities

K44 K45 K46

S41 S42 S43

B3 B8 B10

Duty 13 prioritise and manage resources at a population/systems level to achieve equitable health outcomes and return on investment

K47 K48 K49 K50

S44 S45 S46

B3 B6 B11

Duty 14 work within ethical and professional boundaries while promoting population health and wellbeing, and addressing health inequalities

K51 K52 K53

S47 S48 S49 S50

B7 B8 B12



K1: different sources of data and intelligence and their strengths and limitations Back to Duty

K2: methods used to determine existing and future population health needs and how they are monitored (eg: within a local authority population) and for specific communities (eg: children and young people; people with life-long conditions such as diabetes; people living in prison) Back to Duty

K3: the complexities of health inequalities, how they occur, how they are measured, monitored and reported, and the impact on different societies and populations Back to Duty

K4: how to analyse and interpret the data generated when tracing patterns of disease and ill-health, and how this data is reported for communities and populations (eg: incidence and prevalence) Back to Duty

K5: the challenges of measuring health and wellbeing and health improvement, setting performance indicators for health–related programmes and services, and the importance of evaluation, audit and quality assurance Back to Duty

K6: methods used to engage with the public and local communities in line with prevailing evidence of effectiveness (eg: asset based approaches to community development), recognising the role of agency, autonomy, power and control Back to Duty

K7: how public health and wellbeing interventions are designed, planned and developed, informed by the best available evidence (about what works, and what doesn’t), and how to evaluate these interventions to track effectiveness and ensure continuing improvement Back to Duty

K8: the theories underpinning behavioural science and its relevance to a range of health and wellbeing outcomes, for individuals, communities, and populations, and the appropriate use of behaviour change techniques and tools for different groups, in different settings with different opportunities (e.g.: helping people to make healthy dietary choices; supporting people living with addiction; informing and minimising risk-taking behaviours; heeding health promoting messages and advice) Back to Duty

K9: the determinants of health, including the wider and social determinants; how these impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and populations; and the evidence-based approaches to consider when taking action to achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes for all, while ensuring that the needs of the most vulnerable are met Back to Duty

K10: infectious disease (incubation, transmission, hygiene, infection control, personal behaviours); how infectious disease can spread in a range of settings; and the prevention and management strategies and protocols used to manage the spread of infectious disease, including the identification, reporting and tracking of notifiable diseases, and current legislation Back to Duty

K11: the range of environmental hazards that can pose a risk to the public’s health, including chemical contamination and radiation, and the systems in place to prevent, report, monitor and manage these risks Back to Duty

K12: the challenges and successes of disease prevention and management programmes such as immunisation and screening, for whole populations, or specific groups, and the pre-requisites for these programmes to be most effective Back to Duty

K13: systems supporting emergency planning and response, the organisations responsible, and the role of public health Back to Duty

K14: how to mitigate risks to the public’s health using different approaches such as legislation, licensing, policy, education, fiscal measures Back to Duty

K15: how to critically appraise the evidence base, interpret its relevance and application to practice, and how it informs the basis of key public health messages and advice, and national guidance Back to Duty

K16: how public health interventions are designed, planned and developed, informed by the best available evidence (about what works, and what doesn’t), and when the evidence base is evolving Back to Duty

K17: how to evaluate public health interventions to track effectiveness; ensure continuing improvement; and contribute to the evidence base Back to Duty

K18: the ways in which health and care organisations and professionals are held to account for the quality and effectiveness of services and interventions, and how they keep themselves informed of new developments in technologies, treatments and therapies to improve efficacy Back to Duty

K19: the complexities of measuring health improvement, setting performance indicators for programmes and services, and the importance of evaluation, audit and quality assurance Back to Duty

K20: how health and care services are designed, planned and developed, informed by the best available evidence, and how they are monitored to track effectiveness and ensure continuing improvement Back to Duty

K21: how policy and strategy is formed and developed, nationally and locally Back to Duty

K22: how policies and strategies are used to implement change, improve services, and secure wide engagement in public health issues and outcomes, the social determinants of health, and the different government and local government departments that influence these Back to Duty

K23: the extent to which national and local policies, strategies and service planning impact on health and wellbeing Back to Duty

K24: the theories underpinning behavioural science and its relevance to a range of health and wellbeing outcomes, and how it informs the development of policy, strategy, and the planning and implementation of public health interventions and services Back to Duty

K25: the principles of partnership working and collaboration, and the skills and approaches necessary to do this successfully Back to Duty

K26: ways to determine the organisational relationships and inter-dependencies in the local field of operation; the boundaries of jurisdiction, accountability, and purpose; and where the opportunities for collaboration might lie Back to Duty

K27: the different approaches to evaluating the effectiveness of existing partnerships Back to Duty

K28: how health and care services are funded, the organisations responsible for the delivery of different services, and the tensions that arise from the availability of finite resources Back to Duty

K29: the complexities of measuring health improvement when setting performance indicators for programmes and services in specifications and agreements Back to Duty

K30: the legislation and regulations relating to procurement, commissioning models and theories of commissioning for outcomes Back to Duty

K31: how progress and deliverables against outcomes and processes agreed through a contract, service level agreement, or memorandum of understanding are managed and monitored Back to Duty

K32: the different organisations and agencies, both nationally and locally, that play a key role in the public’s health, their statutory duties and remits, and the leadership and other roles where key accountabilities lie Back to Duty

K33: ways to determine and overcome the challenges of making the business case for prevention against competing, and more immediate priorities, for key agencies positioned to promote and protect the public’s health Back to Duty

K34: the legislative framework and decision making, administrative and reporting processes that support political and democratic systems (e.g.: unitary and tiered local government structures and service accountabilities) Back to Duty

K35: a critical awareness of the political and other tensions that impact on public service provision, and public protection, and ways to encourage a focus on the interests of the public’s health (including helping individuals and communities to have more control over decisions that affect them and promote health equity, equality and justice) Back to Duty

K36: the theories and approaches that underpin the leadership and management culture within decision making organisations, including systems leadership approaches Back to Duty

K37: healthcare management systems and their applicability to public health systems (locally, regionally) Back to Duty

K38: leadership and management approaches that support the influencing role of public health practitioners in situations where they have some statutory authority, (e.g. through the statutory requirement for local authority public health teams to provide public healthcare advice to NHS commissioners), but also in situations when they do not have this authority Back to Duty

K39: approaches to transformational change management within health and care systems Back to Duty

K40: techniques and methods for communicating sometimes complex messages to different segments of the population to support choices and decisions made at an individual level that impact on health and wellbeing Back to Duty

K41: the techniques and methods used to engage with the public and local communities, and to consult with the public in a meaningful way, with an understanding of best practice in the use and application of these methods Back to Duty

K42: theories underpinning health education in addressing the wider determinants of health, and the promotion of health for individuals, groups and communities Back to Duty

K43: the relevance and application of behavioural science, and the use of social marketing techniques, to deliver accessible messages to different segments of populations and communities, to support behaviours and choices that are made at an individual or community level that impact on health, wellbeing, and healthy life expectancy Back to Duty

K44: the principles of programme and project management, and an understanding of the models of project and programme management being used to deliver public health activity Back to Duty

K45: the principles of corporate governance and accountability, and a recognition and understanding of the governance frameworks in place within your own organisation and through which public health action is delivered Back to Duty

K46: the importance of evaluation, audit and quality assurance Back to Duty

K47: how to identify opportunities to build capacity through the specialised and wider public health workforce to strengthen approaches to prevention, understanding the impact of local system capacity on the delivery of public health services and interventions Back to Duty

K48: the principles of corporate governance and accountability, and the importance of engaging with the organisational governance frameworks through which public health action is delivered Back to Duty

K49: economic analysis of services and interventions using tools and techniques to determine cost effectiveness, return on investment and value for money to inform decision making Back to Duty

K50: the factors that affect the ability of individuals to learn and develop within a community or work environment; and how to provide accessible learning opportunities that enable people to develop both their own learning and the learning of others Back to Duty

K51: theories informing the development of public health ethics and law, how these compare to medical ethics, and the different ethical theories that support different public health challenges Back to Duty

K52: making the best use of a range of ethical frameworks to support decision making when faced with different ethical dilemmas in practice Back to Duty

K53: a developed area of expertise in a particular area of public health (eg: the management of risk behaviours such as smoking, inactivity, poor nutrition; infectious disease prevention and control such as sexually transmitted infections, Tuberculosis (TB), or anti-microbial resistance (AMR); the implementation of immunisation and vaccination programmes; mental health and wellbeing; public health intelligence etc.) Back to Duty

K54: a critical insight into the accessibility and availability of health, care and other public services for different groups in the population and the barriers that may exist to prevent the public from successfully receiving the care and support that they need. Back to Duty


S1: analyse a range of data sets to draw informed conclusions about local public health needs and use of services, contributing to strategic needs assessments and operational service planning Back to Duty

S2: provide and present public health information, analysis, interpretation and insight to support decision making, business planning, policy and strategy development, performance monitoring, and quality assurance Back to Duty

S3: manage data and information in compliance with policy and protocol and assess and manage risks associated with using and sharing data and information, data security and intellectual property Back to Duty

S4: work with communities to facilitate their engagement and participation in needs assessments, service design and delivery, including action to improve access to, and navigation of, local services Back to Duty

S5: recognise where health inequalities prevail; determine how they will influence the planning of public health interventions and services; and to apply the evidence appropriately to make the most impact in alleviating these inequalities Back to Duty

S6: apply behavioural insights and information about community needs to support healthy choices that individuals might wish to make, and provide individuals, groups and communities with the capabilities to make changes to their behaviours (eg: increasing levels of physical activity), in the context of a wider set of interventions and actions Back to Duty

S7: participate effectively in the assessment and management of outbreaks, incidents, and single cases of contamination and communicable disease, locally and across boundaries Back to Duty

S8: apply protocol and standard operating procedures related to the management of infectious disease, and in response to civil emergencies and unscheduled events, within the scope of the role Back to Duty

S9: help to identify, analyse and manage the local impact of longer-term hazards and risks to health that may play out at a global, national or local level Back to Duty

S10: communicate the risks and benefits of immunisation and screening programmes to a range of audiences eg: health professionals, parents, people from a range of cultures Back to Duty

S11: use appropriate methods to access and appraise evidence gained through systematic methods and through engagement with the wider research community Back to Duty

S12: critique published and unpublished research, synthesise the evidence and draw appropriate conclusions Back to Duty

S13: report and advise on the implications of the evidence base for the most effective practice; to define problems and shape solutions; and to help in the delivery of value for money Back to Duty

S14: present an evidence based narrative that is suitably adjusted to inform different types of audiences with different levels of health literacy Back to Duty

S15: use and adapt appropriate research techniques and principles to evaluate local services and interventions to contribute to the local evidence-base for effectiveness Back to Duty

S16: monitor, evaluate and disseminate (report) the impact of health and care projects, services and interventions, including quality impact Back to Duty

S17: engage stakeholders (including service users) in service design and development, to deliver accessible and equitable person-centred services Back to Duty

S18: implement standards, protocols and procedures, incorporating national ‘best practice’ guidance into local delivery systems Back to Duty

S19: appraise and implement government-led policies and strategies locally (eg: ensuring the equitable and effective implementation of winter fuel schemes to prevent deaths from cold; the implementation of the NHS Health Check programme) Back to Duty

S20: assess the impact and benefits of health and other policies and strategies on the public’s health and health inequalities (eg: using health impact assessment approaches or tools) Back to Duty

S21: develop or implement actions plans, with, and for, specific groups and communities, to deliver outcomes identified in strategies and policies Back to Duty

S22: evaluate one’s own interpersonal skills, and adapt to different situations through a developed proficiency in negotiation, influencing, diplomacy, mediation, facilitation Back to Duty

S23: use appropriate methods to establish and sustain effective working relationships with local partners in order to bring about positive outcomes in the health and wellbeing of the local population Back to Duty

S24: work collaboratively with colleagues across a broad range of partnership organisations to identify local needs, agree priorities, and deliver on action plans for joint health improvement programmes or services across the area Back to Duty

S25: interact with other specialists and colleagues to improve health and reduce health inequalities through the development, monitoring and review of public health programmes, including the commissioning and delivery of these programmes Back to Duty

S26: ensure, where relevant, that tendering and procurement processes are managed appropriately and within policy and legislative requirements when commissioning, planning or providing a range of services to bring about improvements in the public’s health (including the drawing up and negotiation of service specifications and performance indicators) Back to Duty

S27: facilitate positive contractual relationships understanding how disagreements and changes can be managed within legislative and operational frameworks Back to Duty

S28: Operate appropriately within the decision making, administrative and reporting processes that support political and democratic systems Back to Duty

S29: present a compelling case for action to improve health and wellbeing and reduce inequalities, using appropriate methods to capture and interpret the evidence Back to Duty

S30: use appropriate community engagement techniques to support individuals and communities to have more control over decisions that affect them while promoting health equity, equality and justice Back to Duty

S31: respond constructively to political and other tensions while encouraging a focus on the interests of the public’s health Back to Duty

S32: to engender trust by acting reliably with integrity, consistency and purpose Back to Duty

S33: work effectively within a team that is collectively responsible for leading and managing areas of public health business including the management or supervision of staff, resources or finances Back to Duty

S34: use appropriate leadership skills to engage others, build relationships, manage conflict, encourage contribution and sustain commitment to deliver shared objectives Back to Duty

S35: adapt to change, manage uncertainty, solve problems, and align clear goals with lines of accountability in complex and unpredictable environments Back to Duty

S36: communicate complex information and concepts, including health outcomes, inequalities and life expectancy, to a range of different audiences using different methods (e.g.: exploiting the evolving opportunities of digital capability and dependency, and the associated need for some audiences to be assisted with digital communications) Back to Duty

S37: work with communities to facilitate their engagement and participation in action to improve access to, and navigation of, local services and interventions, and to improve health literacy where it is a barrier to access Back to Duty

S38: apply a range of tools and technologies to improve health literacy where it is creating a barrier to accessing services and information Back to Duty

S39: manage public perception of health risks or solutions, and convey key messages using a range of media processes Back to Duty

S40: consult, and listen to individuals, groups and communities likely to be affected by planned intervention or change Back to Duty

S41: engage stakeholders and work collaboratively with colleagues across a broad range of partnership organisations to identify local needs, agree priorities and develop action plans for joint public health programmes across boundaries Back to Duty

S42: support the development, monitoring and review of public health programmes; identifying risks to delivery and the appropriate risk and issue reporting mechanisms; and re-assessing delivery schedules and methods to respond constructively to change Back to Duty

S43: develop projects and plans with key stakeholders and partner agencies to address local public health needs and bring about improvements in identified areas. Lead or contribute to delivery of these projects as appropriate within the scope of your role Back to Duty

S44: identify the resources needed to develop and deliver new public health activity, or to sustain public health services and interventions, and how these resources might be sourced Back to Duty

S45: help to determine shared priorities and action plans for public health programmes working with colleagues both from within the same organisation and across a range of other agencies Back to Duty

S46: build capacity and capability across the field of operation to increase impact and effectiveness of public health programmes and interventions, engaging with professional colleagues, and other groups of workers or volunteers who make up the wider public health workforce Back to Duty

S47: use appropriate tools and methods to appraise ethical tensions and to make decisions that promote ethical practice Back to Duty

S48: think and write reflectively about one’s own practice, lessons learned, and things that can be done differently for better outcomes eg: to keep a reflective log as part of one’s continuing professional development Back to Duty

S49: demonstrate professional characteristics throughout the course of one’s work eg: engendering trust; assuring confidentiality where appropriate; understanding one’s own limitations in terms of capability, accountability and expertise; the addressing of risks and issues in a timely and appropriate manner Back to Duty

S50: demonstrate awareness of personal impact on others, both fellow professionals, external partners and members of the public Back to Duty


B1: promotes the ability of others to make informed decisions Back to Duty

B2: acknowledges the importance of data confidentiality and disclosure and use of data sharing protocols Back to Duty

B3: acts in ways that are consistent with legislation, policies, governance frameworks and systems Back to Duty

B4: recognises peoples expressed beliefs and preferences Back to Duty

B5: promotes equality and diversity Back to Duty

B6: recognises the need for, and makes use of, opportunities for personal and others’ development while recognising different approaches and preferences for learning Back to Duty

B7: recognises ethical dilemmas or issues and addresses them appropriately e.g.: through the use of ethical frameworks Back to Duty

B8: recognises and acts within the limits of own competence seeking advice when needed Back to Duty

B9: contributes to the development and improvement of own and others' practice in public health by the application of evidence in improving own area of work Back to Duty

B10: objectively and constructively contributes to reviewing the effectiveness of own area of work Back to Duty

B11: values people as individuals Back to Duty

B12: continually develops own practice by reflecting on own behaviour and role, identifying where improvements can be made Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

BSc (Honours) Public Health

Level: 6 (integrated degree)

BSc (Honours) Public Health and Health Promotion

Level: 6 (integrated degree)

BSc (Honours) Health and Wellbeing

Level: 6 (integrated degree)

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • UK Public Health Register for 6

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



this apprenticeship will be reviewed in accordance with our change request policy.

Status: Retired
Level: 6
Degree: integrated degree
Reference: ST0631
Version: 1.1
Date updated: 20/05/2024
Route: Health and science
Typical duration to gateway: 36 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £20000
LARS Code: 507
EQA Provider: Office for Students
Employers involved in creating the standard: London Borough of Greenwich, Public Health England, Barts Health NHS Trust, Lincolnshire County Council, Kent Community Health Foundation Trust, Livewell South West, Evolve, Yorkshire MESMAC, Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, Leeds City Council

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.2 End-point assessment plan revised 20/05/2024 Not set Not set
1.1 End-point assessment plan revised 15/06/2023 19/05/2024 Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery. 30/09/2019 14/06/2023 Not set

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