UKPHR Specialist registration by portfolio assessment

The Specialist Registration by Portfolio Assessment route to registration, opened by UKPHR on 01 September 2018, is a retrospective portfolio assessment route. It sits alongside the well-established Standard route for registration of public health specialists who have successfully completed the Public Health Training Programme.

Applications by way of the Specialist Registration by Portfolio Assessment route must be made through a two-stage process.

First, (the pre-application), an applicant must apply to us for permission to proceed by this route. The applicant must complete an application form in the form prescribed by UKPHR and submit it to us with the supporting documents specified. The applicant must also provide details of a referee and we specify criteria for the choice of referee. We have also prescribed the form for this reference.

We do not accept a portfolio at this stage. We will be looking to see that the applicant meets our eligibility criteria, can demonstrate the leadership experience required in the 2015 Curriculum and is ready to submit a portfolio. A single assessor will advise us on our decision to grant or refuse permission.

If we grant permission, the applicant may submit to us a portfolio for assessment. We must receive the portfolio within 18 months. The portfolio will be assessed by two assessors.

If we refuse permission, we will give the applicant our reasons. We would hope that the reasons given will help the applicant to see what development they will need in order to make progress career-wise. Hopefully, it will assist employers and the public health system more broadly to identify and address developmental needs also.

When looking at the assessment process for this route, it is necessary to have regard to the totality of the requirements of both stages of the application process.

The 2018 UKPHR competencies are derived from the 2015 Public Health Speciality Training Curriculum (2015 Curriculum) taking into account the extensive UKPHR experience of assessing retrospective portfolios. It also mirrors as much as possible the GMC CESR process.

The 2018 UKPHR Show How competencies and pre-application documents reflect the full level of achievement of the 2015 Curriculum key areas.

While some have made representation to UKPHR that the whole Part A syllabus should be included, as this is a curriculum requirement, UKPHR’s view is that these processes have to be proportionate, and the priority for assessors and applicants is the application of knowledge in learning outcomes (or show how in Miller’s model).  UKPHR’s priority is the robust comprehensive demonstration of competence described by all of the learning outcomes in the 2015 curriculum.

Applicants are expected to meet all the 2018 UKPHR competencies in full, and also the competencies in Key Area 10 of integration and application of competencies for consultant practice. The aim of Key Area 10 states “The knowledge base for key area 10 builds on the combined knowledge base for all the other key areas, since the emphasis is on the ability to select appropriately from the learning gained in other key areas, integrate that knowledge and skills to practise public health at a senior organisational level, making an effective personal impact.”

All UKPHR applicants are expected to be working at this level and must demonstrate this level at the time of application as well as across their whole portfolio. The UKPHR registration process is not a developmental process, unlike the formal training route.


There are two stages to this route to registration:

1. The pre-application process which assesses whether you are working at the right level for this route

2. Submission of your portfolio for assessment if UKPHR is satisfied that you are working at the right level

Stage 1: Pre-application stage

Individuals who wish to apply for specialist registration via this route must first seek approval from UKPHR via a pre-application process.

Pre-applications consist of:

  • Satisfactory completion of a pre-application form
  • Payment of a one-off pre-application assessment fee
  • A structured reference to support pre-application using UKPHR’s prescribed template
  • Submission of supporting documents outlined within the pre-application form

Guidance on the pre-application stage can be downloaded here.

Once an applicant receives approval, they will have 18 months from the date of UKPHR’s outcome letter to submit their portfolio.

Stage 2: Submission of your portfolio

Individuals who have successfully applied for approval to submit a portfolio for assessment via the pre-application process must submit their portfolio within 18 months of UKPHR’s outcome letter.

The 2018 UKPHR competencies and their supporting guidance can be downloaded via the links below.

UKPHR has also published a document mapping between the 2015 Curriculum and the 2018 UKPHR competencies with a commentary on why there are differences.

Guidance on applicants compiling their portfolio can be download by clicking here.

Other documents relevant to submission of a portfolio can be viewed via the links below