United Kingdom


There are two main bodies for Occupational Medicine in UK:

  1. The Faculty of Occupational Medicine

  2. The Society of Occupational Medicine.

The Faculty of Occupational Medicine was set up in 1978 to provide a professional and academic body of doctors empowered to develop and maintain high standards of training, competence and professional integrity in occupational medicine. Its objectives are to:

○   act as an authoritative body for consultation in matters of education and public interest concerning occupational medicine
○   promote for the public benefit the advancement of education and knowledge in the field of occupational medicine
○   develop and maintain for the public benefit the good practice of occupational medicine, providing for the protection of people at work by ensuring the highest professional standards of competence and ethical integrity.

The Faculty is a registered charity. Its policies and general direction are determined by the Board, which is elected by the membership.  It is supported by committees, working groups and including regional forums.  It is also responsible for the publication of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The Society is also a registered charity and was founded in 1935 as the Association of Industrial Medical Officers; it changed its name to the Society of Occupational Medicine in 1965. It provides education and support to its members through a national and regional programme of continuing medical education and a quality assured appraisal scheme in support of the requirements for medical revalidation in the UK. It has 1800 members and is open to doctors outside of UK with an interest in occupational medicine as well as nationally.  Membership includes general practitioners as well as occupational physicians. It is supported regionally by a group structure arranged in geographical regions.

It has a board, which is elected by the membership determining policies and strategic direct with both national and regional membership.

The Society is concerned with:

○   the protection of the health of people in the workplace
○   the prevention of occupational injuries and disease
○   related environmental issues

SOM is a forum for its membership and aims to stimulate interest, research and education in Occupational Medicine. It has wide-ranging contacts with government departments and professional bodies and responds with the Society's view to consultative documents and topics of interest and concern affecting the speciality.


Population: 60 million (2012), 26 million people at work.

Number of doctors specialized in occupational health: 1000

Training and Membership
The Faculty is responsible for post-graduate training within the speciality and admits Diplomates who satisfy the Regulations and pass the diploma examination; Associates which is a qualification awarded to those medical practitioners who have a sufficiently broad clinical experience and full or part-time experience in occupational medicine to satisfy the Regulations and who pass the examination for Associateship (an examination which has been replaced as part of the new specialist training requirements for UK dictated by PMETB), and Members who are registered medical practitioners who wish to specialise in occupational medicine.  Members will have satisfactorily completed a prescribed period of supervised training in one or more approved posts (minimum of 4 years) and have passed both Part 1 and Part 2 of the Faculty examinations (previously Associateship examination and Membership assessment of thesis, dissertation or other published work). There are also Fellows who are elected by the Board.

The Society works closely with the faculty in providing relevant CPD/CME for its members and as well as having a pivotal role in supporting members with its appraisal scheme.

The nature of occupational health services in UK
Occupational health services in some organizations in UK are integral to the organization in particular large organizations e.g. NHS, Armed Forces, Police and other large industrial based organizations. There are also a number of OHS providers, which are contracted by different organizations to provide services.  Service provision is a mixture of nurse-led and doctor-led services depending on the organisation’s needs.  There is currently no statutory requirement for occupational health provision in UK although certain medical services have to be provided in the more hazardous industries in line with European legislation.

Hot Topics

○   Health of the potentially working population including those currently out of work
○   Managing sickness absence

Contact Details

Society of Occupational Medicine
Hamilton House
Mabledon Place
London WC1H 9BB
Tel: 020 7554 8628


Faculty of Occupational Medicine
3rd Floor, New Derwent House
69-73 Theobalds Road
Tel: 020 7242 8698
Fax: 020 3116 6900