Skip navigation
ADPH seal logo

Aims, values and history

Our core aim is to support Directors of Public Health (DsPH) to improve and protect the health of the population.

ADPH Chains of Office

Our aims and values

As the representative body for Directors of Public Health (DsPH), we are a collaborative organisation, working in partnership with others to strengthen the voice for public health and have a heritage which dates back over 160 years.

We also work closely with a range of Government departments, including UKHSA and OHID as well as the four CMOs, NHS, devolved administrations, local authorities and national organisations across all sectors to minimise the use of resources as well as maximise our voice.

We improve and protect the health of the population by:

  • Representing the views of DsPH on public health policy
  • Advising on public health policy and legislation at a local, regional, national and international level
  • Providing a support network for DsPH to share ideas and good practice
  • Identifying and providing professional development opportunities for DsPH

Every Director of Public Health within the British Isles and British Overseas Territories has the right to be a member of the Association. Deputy directors and consultants in public health can become Associate Members while former DsPH can sign up as Alumni.

ADPH is a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England and Wales (#08448934) and a Registered Charity (No.1164513).

We are funded by annual corporate subscriptions from our members’ employing organisations. We also receive funding and seek sponsorship for specific projects.

We work to a three year strategic business plan, produce annual reports and are led by an elected Board, which includes the President and Vice President. Our policy is guided by an elected Council which consists of honorary officers and member representatives.

Read our governance framework

Our history

We have existed in our current form since 1989, but there has been an equivalent membership body for more than 160 years. In 2013 we became a Company Limited by Guarantee and a Registered Charity in 2015.

The Metropolitan Association of Medical Officers of Health is formed
The Metropolitan Association of Medical Officers of Health becomes the Incorporated Society of Medical Officers of Health (ISMOH), who went on to form the Royal Institute of Public Health (now RSPH) with a subgroup of County Medical Officers (CMOG)
The Association of County Medical Officers of Health of England and Wales (ACMOH) breaks from the ISMOH
The ACMOH becomes the Association of Area Medical Officers working closely with CMOG
The Association of District Community Physicians is formed
The Association of District Medical Officers (ADMO) is formed from the merger of the Association of Area Medical Officers (and CMOG) and the Association of District Community Physicians
The ADMO becomes the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH)
The ADPH logo is created and another bar is added to the medal
ADPH is staffed by the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) although remains an independent organisation
ALPHA (Access to Learning for Public Health) takes over the running of ADPH conferences
ADPH secures dedicated staffing and separates from the FPH. The office is hosted by Cambridgeshire PCT (NHS)
ADPH becomes a company limited by guarantee and, with the move in England for DsPH from the NHS to Local Authorities, the office is moved to be hosted by The UK Health Forum
ADPH becomes a charity
ADPH celebrates the 175th anniversary of the first Medical Officer of Health, Dr William Duncan
Back to top