European Certified Pharmacologists (EuCP)

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Current as of: 08/12/2015

 

What is the EuCP Programme?

The European Certified Pharmacologist (EuCP) is a joint project of EPHAR, The Federation of European Pharmacological Societies, and EACPT the European Association for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics with the intention to identify individuals working in the field of pharmacology, in its entirety ranging from basic research to clinical and therapeutic applications, who excel in standards of education, skills, experience and professional standing. Pharmacologists certified as EuCPs will have proven that their competency profile, in addition to their personal specialised scientific expertise, covers expert knowledge in all major fields and that they have experiences and practical awareness in a wide spectrum of pharmacological techniques. The system guarantees that common high standards are applied for this certification by all participating societies of pharmacology and clinical pharmacology throughout Europe.

The EuCP Programme shall also provide incentives to encourage individual professionals to expand their personal competency profiles in order to increase their chances for obtaining high-level positions in an increasingly competitive employment environment, be it academic, industrial, regulatory or self-employed. The need for continuous further professional development and expanding personal competencies was already identified on a pan-European level by the European Union's Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), which, at a total financial volume of more than 3 billion Euros (IMI?2), is Europe's largest public-private partnership funded jointly by the EU and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations EFPIA.

The EuCP Guidelines for Certification have been developed in a consensus involving representatives of a majority of the member societies of EPHAR and EACPT.

 

Advantages of being a EuCP

The certification as EuCP provides evidence that an individual thus distinguished has, in addition to his/her scientific expertise, a competency portfolio that covers the entire discipline of pharmacology.

Certified EuCPs thus have the advantage of being able to present evidence for this qualification for high-level employment opportunities where expertise in the entire discipline is warranted, such as leadership positions in academic departments, employment in the industrial area where competencies for strategic decision-making are required, or in the regulatory sector.

These qualifications are of special interest wherever employment is offered in these sectors on an international level as the EuCP Programme ensures high levels of qualification according to common high standards. Upon accreditation of the national certification scheme with the EuCP programme the accredited programme will be published by the EuCP Committee and the National Certifying Body may invite applications for EuCP certification from its members. EuCP certification is legally not binding in that it does not substitute academic or medical qualifications (in particular the medical speciality in Clinical Pharmacology), but provides value as an additional recognition of quality in the field of Pharmacology at the European level.

 

How does the EuCP Programme work?

The EuCP certification procedure is essentially a two-step process. The National Certifying Body (a national society of pharmacology or clinical pharmacology) handles applications of individuals and evaluates the applications according to a consensus process according to the criteria and procedures as described in the Guidelines for Certification and verifies the credentials of the applicants. Successful candidates are then named to the EuCP Committee which will issue the certification as European Certified Pharmacologist.

In order to ensure continuous professional development (CPD), certification must be renewed at regular intervals upon submission to the Certifying Body of evidence for personal CPD activities.

 

How can individuals obtain and document the competencies required for EuCP certification?

Competencies (knowledge, practical awareness, skills) may be obtained in many different ways. Participating member societies may base their national EuCP programme on already existing diploma systems, whether organised by the society itself or by a third party (such as medical, pharmaceutical or other professional organisations), or on official qualifications such as medical speciality in Clinical Pharmacology, as recognised at the European level by the European Union of Medical Specialists. Individuals may receive the required training and experience in organised training curricula where competencies and knowledge are documented by the curriculum provider, or by collecting documentation for participation in individual training courses, training received during their personal employment career (confirmed by the employer), knowledge and skills obtained in other post-graduate study curricula that correspond to items listed in the Guidelines for Certification.

 

What are the tasks for the National Certifying Bodies?

It is the responsibility of the primary Certifying Body (a national society of Pharmacology or Clinical Pharmacology participating in the EuCP programme) to set up transparent rules for their national EuCP scheme which must meet all criteria and requirement of the Guidelines for Certification. These must at least consist of a clear catalogue of requirements with respect to knowledge, practical awareness and skills as well as for general requirements (such as academic degrees, required minimum period of professional experience, publications etc.) and final assessment of applications. All requirements must meet all criteria of the Guidelines for Certification as a minimum. Clear rules must be in place for providing guidance to prospective applicants as to how required competencies can be obtained and documented.

A national EuCP scheme does not need to be based on a pre-existing diploma or structured curriculum, although this is of course an option. All competencies that have been acquired by applicants outside such structured curricula must be acknowledged provided that adequate documentation is submitted by the applicants.

Before a National Certifying Body can begin to certify individuals as qualified for EuCP certification, the national EuCP scheme must be accredited by the EuCP programme. Requirements and procedures for this initial process are described in detail in the Guidelines for Accreditation of National Certification Schemes.

 

What are the responsibilities of the EuCP Committee?

The EuCP Committee is the core body responsible for ensuring the compatibility of all national EuCP certification schemes with the requirements as set out in the Guidelines of certification. When a national society submits a national certification scheme for accreditation with the EuCP Programme, the EuCP Committee shall render any assistance that may be necessary for resolving open questions or ambiguities.

Should a national society conclude that, due to local or regional limitation (e.g. especially in small countries), training opportunities for individuals are limited and thus may unduly restrict the individuals' options for further development, the EuCP Committee shall assist the applying society in exploring possibilities for establishing transnational EuCP programmes in cooperation with other societies of pharmacology participating in the EuCP Programme.

A further task of the EuCP Committee is the review and approval of EuCP-Endorsed Training Courses (see below).

 

EuCP-Endorsed Training Courses

In order to improve training opportunities for young scientists and to promote training throughout the whole spectrum of the discipline of pharmacology, the EuCP Programme encourages participating partners to establish training courses that will allow scientists to get access to high-quality education and advanced training in areas relevant for the discipline of pharmacology. Endorsement by the EuCP Programme shall identify those training courses offered throughout Europe that meet highest quality standards and are available to all members of EPHAR and EACPT member societies.

EuCP-Endorsed Training Courses must be suitable for training of pharmacologists aiming at obtaining the standards of knowledge and/or skills required by the EuCP Guidelines for Certification, and also for individuals who seek to improve their competency profile and who engage in personal continuing professional development.

The requirements for EuCP Endorsement of such courses are described in the Guidelines for EuCP-Endorsed Training Courses.

 

Documents

The guideline documents containing all relevant information on the EuCP Certification Programme are available here.

These documents include:

 

Programs

Guidelines and descriptions of national EuCP certification schemes approved by the EuCP Committee are available here.

Currently approved programs of national societies of pharmacology:

Click → here for more information on these programs.

 

Fees

A one-time accreditation fee has to be paid by a participating national society of pharmacology to the EuCP Programme for Accreditation of a national EuCP scheme. In case a society wishes to establish separate programs for differently qualified pharmacologists, a separate fee has to be paid by the society for each accreditation procedure.

A separate administrative fee has to be paid by the national society for each diploma to be granted to an individual who has been successfully evaluated by that society. This applies both to initial certification and to re-certification diplomas.

Whether or not a national society of pharmacololgy wishes to charge fees to applicants for EuCP certification may be decided by this society on its own.

The current fees are available here.