Over three years, Trainee Public Health Officers undertake a range of population health placements within the NSW health system. These placements provide opportunities to develop public health competencies and professional networks while addressing strategic and operational priorities of the NSW health system and working to improve the health of the people of NSW. The Training Program also provides an emergency surge capacity for the NSW health system and Trainees can be mobilised at short notice to work on issues of immediate concern.
Competency Based Learning
The Training Program provides Trainees with work-based skills and knowledge in areas of public health practice, including:
- Professional Practice
- Management and Leadership
- Health Promotion and Prevention
- Communicable Diseases
- Risk Assessment and Management
- Health System Financing and Economics
The NSW Public Health Training Program Competency Framework (October 2014) can be accessed here.
Trainees produce a professional portfolio of evidence, and participate in formative and summative assessment processes. Successful completion is recognised by the award of a Certificate of Attainment.
Supervised Work Placements
The majority of learning is undertaken through projects in supervised work placements. Placements are generally 6 or 12 months in duration. A variety of placements provide the Trainee with a range of supervised population health experiences. For example, Trainees may, under supervision: manage the investigation of acute communicable disease outbreaks; analyse large data sets; design surveys; publish peer-reviewed journal papers; translate the results of studies into policy; design and conduct evaluations; develop and implement health promotion strategies; negotiate/work with people from different sectors, and present information to a wide range of audiences using a variety of media.
Placements are located within the NSW Ministry of Health, NSW Local Health Districts, NSW Health Pillars, and other affiliated population health organisations within NSW.
Trainees may be offered the opportunity to undertake a 6 month rural placement during their training. The rural placement is intended to allow Trainees to gain insight, understanding, exposure to and experience of:
- The impact of rurality on the management of public health issues, including the challenge of working with distance, limited resources, and unique health issues;
- The lack of equity in rural settings, including access to health services. The specific public health issues facing rural populations, both acute and chronic, particularly issues unique to the rural or remote environment;
- Engagement with rural communities, including rural Indigenous communities;
- Public health workforce issues in rural communities, including issues related to the limitations of public health infrastructure.