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Continuing Professional Development for Doctors – Improving Healthcare

On 18 December 2015, the AEMH (European Association of Senior Hospital Doctors), CEOM (European Council of Medical Orders), CPME (Standing Committee of European Doctors), EANA (European Working Group of Practitioners and Specialists in Free Practice), EJD (European Junior Doctors), EMSA (European Medical Students Association), FEMS (European Federation of Salaried Doctors), UEMO (European Union of General Practitioners) and UEMS (European Union of Medical Specialists) are hosting the joint conference on ‘Continuing Professional Development for Doctors – Improving Healthcare’ (conference agenda) with the support of the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Following the recent update by the EU Commission of the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications 2013/55/EU, the European Medical Organisations strongly reaffirm that:

  • Continuing Professional Development for physicians designates all the professional development activities that occur after specialist qualification has been obtained. It includes many forms of education and training that allow individual doctors to maintain and improve standards of medical practice through the development of knowledge, skill, attitude and behaviour.
  • The organisation of healthcare is a national competence in line with the principle of subsidiarity and Member States have taken a variety of approaches to CPD. There is no evidence to suggest there is a single best way to regulate CPD. However, regardless of the system, it is highly desirable for the profession to be responsible for CPD. To strengthen national systems and improve cross-border cooperation organisations involved in CPD should exchange information, establish and disseminate best practices at national and European levels.
  • Investment in CPD benefits the healthcare system and patients’ health and safety. Therefore, irrespective of the nature of the healthcare system – whether employer-based, direct paying, or insurance remunerated – time and resources must be allocated to ensure that doctors are able to take part in CPD.
  • There is a lack of evidence that recertification or revalidation methods are helpful in the detection of poorly performing doctors or making healthcare safer. Overregulation at EU or national level will not enhance professional mobility and will not assure cross-border quality of care.
  • The pharmaceutical industry and suppliers of diagnostic and medical devices, must be attentive to the needs of patients and of the profession for objective information and education not tied to promotion of products. National or international codes of ethics must always be respected.
  • To assure unbiased CPD, the medical profession must take the responsibility for the approval and/or accreditation of CPD activities. This should include the accreditation of specific events as well as validation of CPD providers. It is possible for national accreditation bodies to opt-in to European-level accreditation systems led by European professional organisations representing medical doctors. Such an approach facilitates the recognition of CPD activities undertaken outside their own country, and eases the exchange of CPD activities in Europe and globally through international agreements with non-EU countries.

Please find the full consensus statment here.

Luxembourg, 18 December, 9.00-17.00

(Venue: Chamber of Commerce Luxembourg, 7 Rue Alcide de Gasperi, Kirchberg)