Public Health Nutrition

Hot Topic – Workforce development

The public health nutrition intervention management bi-cycle: a model for training and practice improvement

Roger Hughesa1 c1 and Barrie Margettsa2

a1 School of Public Health, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland 4212, Australia

a2 Public Health Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK


The present paper describes a model for public health nutrition practice designed to facilitate practice improvement and provide a step-wise approach to assist with workforce development.

The bi-cycle model for public health nutrition practice has been developed based on existing cyclical models for intervention management but modified to integrate discrete capacity-building practices.

Education and practice settings.

This model will have applications for educators and practitioners.

Modifications to existing models have been informed by the authors’ observations and experiences as practitioners and educators, and reflect a conceptual framework with applications in workforce development and practice improvement. From a workforce development and educational perspective, the model is designed to reflect adult learning principles, exposing students to experiential, problem-solving and practical learning experiences that reflect the realities of work as a public health nutritionist. In doing so, it assists the development of competency beyond knowing to knowing how, showing how and doing. This progression of learning from knowledge to performance is critical to effective competency development for effective practice.

Public health nutrition practice is dynamic and varied, and models need to be adaptable and applicable to practice context to have utility. The paper serves to stimulate debate in the public health nutrition community, to encourage critical feedback about the validity, applicability and utility of this model in different practice contexts.

(Received April 12 2011)

(Accepted June 25 2011)

(Online publication August 23 2011)


  • Public health nutrition;
  • Intervention management;
  • Capacity building;
  • Practice


c1 Corresponding author: Email