Training in public health allows a flexibility in choice of training experience seldom seen in postgraduate health training programmes. While this arrangement allows registrars exceptional opportunities to address learning needs and explore career interests, it leaves training locations uncertain about whether they will have the benefit of registrars in the team once a current trainee leaves.
Previous ad-hoc arrangements for planning registrar placement moves have been found to be unsatisfactory. A local “placement panel” process has been developed whereby registrars are required to submit their proposed movements up to a year in advance. This allows a fair distribution of opportunities across the registrar population, ensuring that decisions are based on objective criteria such as educational needs.
This process does not however address the problem for training locations of ensuring that registrars consider their location in submitting requests to the placement panel. A registrar-led Rough Guide is available but this only covers existing placements, not any newly developed placement opportunities nor any unusual opportunities within established placements. Some locations have addressed this by direct advertising of opportunities to registrars, by email or by presentations at registrar events. This is felt to be unfair on those locations which are unable or unwilling to take such steps, and ultimately undesirable as this approach could “up the ante” leading to deluges of emails and requests for presentation slots.
Following discussion of this issue at STC, it has been suggested and generally agreed that a webpage would be a good solution. This document proposes how this could look.
Process for applying for a placement
The default process would be through online application to the twice yearly placement panel. If external timescales make this impossible, a panel including representation from the placement clinical supervisor, project lead (if different) and a senior member of the programme team should make a decision on the most suitable registrar for the placement from those who have applied. If timescales are short it must be remembered that registrars will have commitments within their current placement and may not be able to move at short notice. Placement moves should normally be planned at least six months in advance.
TPD North zone