04 February 2013
For Immediate Release
The Internal Market Committee (IMCO) of the European Parliament has voted to allow Common Training Frameworks to be used for cross-border recognition of pharmacy and veterinary medicine specialties.
At its meeting on 23 January 2013, IMCO Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) agreed a series of compromise amendments to lift restrictions that would prevent post-graduate specialties of automatically recognised professions from forming a common training framework.
A common training framework is a proposal from the European Commission that would allow nine countries or more to form a voluntary arrangement similar in effect to mutual automatic recognition for a qualification. Benefits of the proposal include the fact that not every country in the European Union would need to participate, and that the recognition can be based on an agreed competence framework rather than upon requirements for strict agreement on the duration period of a qualification.
However, under the Commission’s proposals of December 2011, there was an explicit restriction that the frameworks could not be used by any of the seven automatically recognised professions (such as pharmacy and veterinary medicine), including for the purposes of specialty recognition.
The new IMCO amendments lift these restrictions whilst also addressing the Commission’s concerns, by making clear existing recognised professions and specialties must not be affected by any new framework.
EAHP President Dr Roberto Frontini welcomed the Committee vote and said:
“I am delighted that MEPs of all political parties have seen the inherent sense in opening up the Common Training Framework to be used for the cross-border recognition of pharmacy specialties.
The whole purpose of the Directive on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications is to improve the labour mobility of professionals for the benefit of citizens, the European economy, and the operation of high quality health services that put patient safety first.
So when a very practical proposal comes along to assist qualification recognition, it is logical that it should also apply for unrecognised specialties of the automatically recognised professions.”
EBVS President Dr Peter O’Brien said:
“Whilst common sense has appeared to prevail in the European Parliament there is still more to do in persuading others, including national governments, before the process of reforming this Directive is complete.
EBVS and EAHP will continue to work with our partners in other professions, such as the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), to ensure we achieve the best possible outcomes for specialty mobility in Europe.”
For further information please contact:
Policy and Advocacy Officer
European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP)
Tel: 00 322 741 6835
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists is an association of national organisations representing hospital pharmacists at European and international levels. More information about the EAHP and its history here.
EAHP considers that specialisations in pharmacy, such as hospital pharmacy, are necessary for patient safety and ensuring the highest quality of care by professionals working in the complex environment of hospital medicine. For this reason, most European countries have introduced specific qualifications for the practice of hospital pharmacy. More information about EAHP's campaign to ensure these qualifications are brought within the remit of European legislation on qualification mobility here.
2. The European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS) is the governing body for veterinary specialty boards in Europe. The main objectives and duties of the EBVS are to: recognise new speciality Colleges; set up and maintain a register of European veterinary specialists; assure the quality of these specialists by monitoring the Colleges; and, to encourage and promote the enhanced utilisation and availability of speciality services to the public and the veterinary profession. More information about the EBVS here.
3. Directive 2005/36 is currently the principal European legal framework governing the mobility of professional qualifications in Europe. Developed over many years the Directive establishes "automatic recognition" for seven professions: medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, midwifery, veterinary medicine and architecture. Within that framework there are mechanisms for the further recognition of specialties of medicine and dentistry but not the other five automatically recognised professions.
Within the context of a current review of the Directive, EAHP and EBVS are working together to improve the framework by enabling better mobility for professionals holding specialised qualifications in pharmacy and veterinary medicine.
4. Following proposals by the European Commission for reform of Directive 2005/36 in December 2011 (see here), the European Parliament has been scrutinising the proposals and working with stakeholders to identify areas of potential improvement. Meeting on 23 January 2013 the Internal Market Committee voted on amendments, passing amendments to open up the Common Training Framework proposal to wider use for the recognition of specialisms of the automatically recognised professions - with the important caveat that such frameworks do not interfere with existing mechanisms for specialty recognition.
More information on the benefits of this amendment here.