A trading standards officer in Cornwall has become the first in the country to be granted the status of Public Health Practitioner and to be admitted to the UK Public Health Practitioner Register.
Elizabeth Kirk, Senior Trading Standards Officer for Cornwall Council, has worked hard for the past seven years to demonstrate the direct links between trading standards enforcement and regulatory activity around tobacco and alcohol, including the long-term health implications of smoking and drinking.
To further reinforce this collaborative approach to reducing smoking-related deaths and other health conditions in Cornwall, Kirk successfully completed an Open University Certificate in Public Health Promotion. Building on that qualification, she has spent the past 16 months successfully completing the demanding portfolio of evidence to demonstrate experience, knowledge and understanding of public health.
Much of this effort was completed in her own time and at her own initiative, and her successes have often been achieved despite trading standards not normally being recognised as a key public health partner. She now becomes one of a very small handful of professionals in Cornwall to be recognised as a public health practitioner.