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Roles for which specific qualifications are required

Two women walking towards leisure centreHealth Trainer

Health trainers have completed training and are competent within the 4 National Occupational Standards:

  • HT1 Make relationships with communities
  • HT2 Communicate with individuals about promoting their health
  • HT3 Enable individuals to change their behaviour to improve their own health and wellbeing
  • HT4 Manage and organise your own time and activities

The main part of the role is to provide personalised support in relation to lifestyle behavioural change. To become a health trainer you will need to be knowledgable about or have experience of the community or group where you will work. You would learn on the job as a Trainee Health Trainer and take and study for a City and Guilds (level 3) Certificate for Health Trainers. For further details see:

  • Department of health 
  • Health trainers’ network  


See career stories:

“The health trainer service works with the most deprived communities to bring about behavioural and lifestyle changes”

Andrea Sizer – Health Trainer Service Manager 


“All my life I had worked cleaning houses and schools but when I found out about the health trainer scheme it really interested me”

Jennie Heron – Health Trainer


Health Trainer Champions  

Health Trainer Champions may have training at level 2, usually the Royal Society’s Understanding Health Improvement award. See Royal Society of Public Health.


Healthcare Assistants

Healthcare assistants can work in varied roles, at level 3 in the Skills and Career frameworks with different titles, in hospital or community settings, such as in PCTs or in general practice. If you work with patients, you would be supervised by a qualified healthcare professional.You could work with nurses as a nursing auxiliary or auxiliary nurse. You could work with midwives. Or you could work as a therapy assistant or therapy helper, alongside allied health professionals, such as dietitians, physiotherapists, radiographers, podiatrists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists. Healthcare assistants and auxiliary nurses may obtain an National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at Level 3. Often, if you hold an NVQ at Level 2 you have more responsibility in your role. An NVQ Level 3 will enable you to enter nurse training. To find out more, go to the Royal College of Nursing’s section for Health Care Workers or NHS Careers. Governments are considering how to improve oversight, including whether to regulate in future this role.

NHS Careers  


Assistant practitioners

Assistant practitioners work in a many different areas, often with patients or service users, usually managed by a professional. Assistant practitioners work at level 4 in the Public Health Career and Skills Frameworks. You could be an expert patient co-ordinator, assistant practitioner (falls), an IT support worker, a community food worker or nutrition assistant. You could work in a district nursing team providing health promotion and health education to adults and their families. Or you could work to help with smoking cessation, healthy lifestyle, for instance. You will normally work as part of a team. For some roles, you may need an NVQ III qualification (hyperlink to qualifications page) and care experience. You may need a BTEC higher diploma or foundation degree (hyperlink to qualifications page) in a relevant subject, such as a science or health and social care. You typically study towards a foundation degree or BTEC higher national diploma level qualification on a part-time basis whilst you work. You may have a chance to go on to further training in an area or profession. Alternatively, you may be able to broaden your existing role and remain at level 4 of the career framework in a different area. Your role may be regulated in future, as a recent DH report says. You will be expected to keep up to date. Look at the websites for professional associations (hyperlink to professional association section) relevant to your role. For example, the Royal College of Nursing, for assistant nursing, or the Royal College of Midwifery, for assistant midwifery. For health informatics, try Association for Information Professionals in Health and Social Care (ASSIST). To find out more, go to the Assistant Practitioners section of NHS Careers.


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