European Certified Pharmacologists (EuCP)
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.
The guideline documents containing all relevant information on the EuCP Certification Programme are available
These documents include:
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.
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.