European Accreditation of Public Health Education
© BioMed Central London 2011
Published: 13 June 2011
The European Agency for Accreditation in Public Health Education (APHEA) was launched in 2011. This followed nearly two decades of efforts in a variety of programmes supported by international donor agencies, and others that provided experience and field testing of peer review systems for schools of public health in Europe. The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) Public Health Education European Review (PEER) project, devised with the aid of WHO EURO in the early 1990s and later by the Open Society Institute (OSI) within the framework of a joint ASPHER-OSI Program from 2000–2005, helped to develop a cadre of expertise on the process of international peer review and standards that are compatible with a full accreditation process.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the background, criteria and current pilot phase of European accreditation for the Master of Public Health degree and equivalent study programmes. Undergoing the accreditation process will help longstanding and new schools review their programmes to meet new European accreditation system standards and provide students, graduates and potential employers with confidence in the future acceptability of their credentials. The new accreditation agency was established by a consortium of European public health organisations and represents a new phase for development of standards and quality of education systems in Europe to face the challenges of workforce development for a “New Public Health” era in the 21st century.