The Royal Institute of Public Health (RIPH) is launching a Level 2 qualification in "Understanding Health Improvement", a course specifically intended for those with an interest in helping people adopt healthier lifestyles.
Dr Alan Maryon-Davis, chair of RIPH and president-elect of the Faculty of Public Health, comments: "Health is now everyone's business, and this new qualification is a significant opportunity for anyone interested in promoting good health to get started on the skills ladder of helping people adopt healthier ways of living.
He adds: "Each year, up to 400,000 people quit smoking, an estimated 20% of women are on a diet, and membership of gyms is rocketing. The health scene is changing. All around us in society, the focus is no longer just about treating illness, but increasingly about promoting good health."
The new qualification from RIPH reflects national occupational standards. It offers a fundamental introduction to the provision and signposting of health and wellbeing information, and is suitable for individuals who wish to be a part of this fresh, practical approach to healthcare in their local community.
Dr Alan Maryon-Davis explains: "Employers in a wide range of settings and markets are finding this qualification a great starting point for staff who have day-to-day dealings with the public. People who work in pharmacies, care homes, clinics, leisure centres, supermarkets and schools all have a role to play in finding practical routes to living a healthy lifestyle."