Public Health Online Resource for Careers, Skills and Training

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What is PHORCaST?

PHORCaST stands for "Public Health Online Resource for Careers, Skills and Training".

The PHORCaST website has been created to:

  • promote public health (including health and wellbeing) as a career
  • attract the most appropriate people into public health roles
  • help retain the most appropriate people in public health roles
  • help develop the careers of people already working in public health
  • help support those with a public health aspect to their role (the wider public health workforce)

It is therefore aimed at:

  • those wishing to enter public health
  • those already working in public health
  • those with a public health aspect to their role
  • those responsible for public health education, development, training, planning and careers advice.

PHORCaST covers public health careers at all levels (bands, grades) in the workforce, and in all sectors of employment. It is a wide-ranging source of information about roles and careers in public health, and it provides advice about how to assess your current position and how you might develop your skills and knowledge through education and training.

PHORCaST is a UK-wide website, which is funded by Health Education England, with contributions from the devolved administrations (Scottish Government, Welsh Government, Northern Ireland Executive).


Who is PHORCaST for?

PHORCaST is for you if you are interested in health and wellbeing issues, and if you would like to improve your skills and knowledge in public health.

You will find useful information here if:

  • you are looking for your first job or not currently employed and think that public health could be of interest to you
  • your current role is not primarily in public health but has a public health element
  • public health forms a significant part of your role
  • you are responsible for public health education, development, training, planning and careers advice.

Public health is everybody’s concern, and many people have a public health aspect to their role even if they may not have realised it. 


Why is PHORCaST needed? 

We face a challenging public health agenda which is a concern for us all: 

  • smoking
  • obesity and diet
  • harmful or hazardous drinking
  • drug misuse and dependence
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • giving children a healthy start in life
  • helping more people survive cancer
  • threats of infection, such as food poisoning, hospital infections or flu
  • health risks at work and in the home
  • waste and pollution, and their environmental and health impacts
  • creating a lasting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Reducing health inequalities and the social gradient of health

You can read more about past successes in public health and current challenges on our page about Achievements and Challenges.

To address issues such as the above, we need to get people with the most approriate skills, knowledge and behaviours into public health; and we need to maintain and develop those already in the public health workforce.

In order to help with this, the development of a public health careers website, PHORCaST, was considered a crucial need, since it could:

  • Provide one place with information on:

Public health – what it is and what it involves
The breadth of public health opportunities
Training and education opportunities in public health

  • Help people to get started in public health

We need to help people find out about roles, the skills and knowledge required for roles, and how to apply for jobs.

  • Help people to develop in their roles, to become confident, competent, and satisfied

    This will help ensure the workforce maintains and develops its skills and knowledge, might help to address issues of retention that exist in some parts of the UK.

The PHORCaST website aims to raise awareness of the many and varied roles that are available in public health, and to give clear advice on how you can enter public health or improve public health knowledge and skills in your current role.

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