UKPHR Consultation on revised practitioner standards
Public Health Wales Response
The workforce of Public Health Wales wishes to make the following comments in relation to the above consultation.
Public Health Wales acknowledges the aims to redraft the standards in light of the previous consultation with the emphasis on the need for:
- Cost effective implementation
And for the most part acknowledge this has been achieved.
Public Health Wales is generally in support of the revised standards as a framework to protect the public through the development of agreed professional standards which will provide quality assurance of the public health workforce, and would offer the following recommendations:
- It is clear at the outset of the consultation document that the ‘indicators of effective practice’ are competences and therefore require individuals to demonstrate both knowledge and evidence of effective application / practice. However, the use of the words ‘knowledge of’ regularly throughout the standards may detract from the need to demonstrate practical application and focus attention on providing only evidence of ‘knowledge’.
Public Health Wales would therefore like to see the need to demonstrate evidence of effective practice made more explicit, i.e. so that individuals are clear that they must demonstrate how they have effectively applied their knowledge and can provide examples of practical application. This could be achieved by inserting the words ‘First/Second area of effective practice’ as a heading to each ‘Area’ and also by providing examples.
Skills for Health describe competences as:
National Occupational Standards (NOS) and National Workforce Competences (NWC) describe performance as outcomes of a person's work. They focus on what the person needs to be able to do, as well as what they must know and understand to work effectively.
We therefore recommend that this should be explicit it all the guidance to potential applicants.
- Instead of calling them “Areas”, it may be clearer to call them, “Indicators of Effective Practice 1, 2, 3” etc.
- It is essential that examples of evidence of effective practice and associated application of knowledge be included within the standards or as an appendix to the standards, either at the pilot stage or following implementation of the standards.
- The September 2009 update from the UKPHR stated that there is a need for emphasis on “clear focus on public health practice, linked to the assessment of risk.” In relation to this point and although only a ‘presentational issue,’ if the order of the areas were changed so that Area 2 became area 1 – the first “area” all potential registrants read will be the specific “technical competences in public health” and therefore reinforce the message that these are public health competences (which have an element of core skills required in order to deliver public health outcomes).
Area 1 could then be moved to area 4, this would ensure that in terms of presentation, the standards would begin with knowledge and application around public health policies and strategies and collaborative work rather than the more generic, although equally important professional competencies of Area 1.
- Public Health Wales fully understands the rationale of the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) in relation to the “core of regulation” and would recommend that the UKPHR consider developing guidance on implications for organisations in recognising and developing appropriate CPD and development opportunities for individuals who were perhaps initially waiting to register as Advanced Practitioners.
Claire BarleyHead of Professional and Organisation Development
Sharon AtkinsGeneral Manager, Health Improvement
Ian Scale Principal Public Health Officer