Public health training

The PHA is instrumental in the delivery of postgraduate training for doctors and other professionals who want to become specialists/ consultants in Public Health. We are the primary training location and education provider within Northern Ireland for those who are enrolled on the UK Public Health training scheme  Specialty training - FPH. Other approved training locations are the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) incorporating the NI Cancer Registry, Department of Health in NI, and the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH).

The Public Health training programme usually comprises a five-year full time programme. The first year is usually spent undertaking a Masters in Public Health. The next three to four years are usually spent working within the PHA or other approved training locations where training is delivered by consultants/specialists and practitioners from a range of other backgrounds.

The PHA provides trainees with the opportunities to work across all the key areas of public health practice, i.e. health protection, health improvement, screening and service development. We are well placed to deliver this training in the PHA with our multidisciplinary workforce and our networks with a wide range of external stakeholders.

The training programme is open to people from a medical background and other professional backgrounds.  Entry to the training programme is by competitive interview which is usually held in November for entry the following August.  Details can be found at Recruitment - FPH .

Trainees entering the programme will follow the public health specialty training curriculum set by the UK Faculty of Public Health. Evidence of progress towards achieving key competencies and experience is assessed at an annual review of competence progression (ARCP) overseen by the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA). Satisfactory progress leads to a Certificate of Completion of Training and eligibility to work at consultant /specialist level. 

Medical graduates with significant experience in other specialties may wish to consider other routes CESR & CESR (CP) - FPH

Further information on the public health training is available via the NIMDTA website   and the UK Faculty of Public Health  Specialty training - FPH

People from backgrounds other than medicine may wish to consider alternative routes to have their experience recognised by the Faculty of Public Health. Further information is available via the UK Public Health Register

The PHA also offers ‘taster sessions’ and four-month rotations in public health for foundation year 2 doctors. Queries about foundation opportunities in public health, contact

Any queries regarding the training programme, including recruitment queries, can be addressed to the Training Programme Director by emailing