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News from the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists
  1. Richard Price
  1. Correspondence to Richard Price, Policy and Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacy, 3 Rue Abbe Cuypers, Brussels 1040, Belgium; richard.price{at}

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May 2013

European specialists call on Commission and national governments to improve qualification recognition procedures

Organisations representing professionals with specialised qualifications in the fields of veterinary surgery, pharmacy and nursing have made a joint appeal to the European Commission and national governments to support proposals from the European Parliament that would improve the possibility of specialist qualification mobility across Europe.

The Directive governing qualification recognition across EU states (Directive 2005/36) allows for mutual recognition of medicine and dentistry specialisms, but not for any of the other five ‘automatically recognised’ professions such as veterinary surgery, pharmacy and nursing.

The European Parliament has therefore proposed that specialisms of these professions be allowed to form ‘common training frameworks’ to achieve recognition of a qualification across countries. This would involve nine countries or more coming together to make a voluntary arrangement for recognising a qualification. This could be based on agreed competencies and obtained skills, rather than requiring a strict agreement on the duration of a qualification, as previous models of qualification recognition have been based upon.

No EU countries would be forced to take part in such a framework. Instead countries could ‘opt in’ at the start of the process, or at a later point. However, the European Commission's proposals for reform of Directive 2005/36 (December 2011) prohibited any of the seven automatically recognised professions from making use of such a framework. It is this prohibition that the European Parliament is seeking to remove.

With discussion between the Parliament, Commission and national governments now in ‘trilogue’, the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) and the European Specialist Nurses Organisations have issued a joint communiqué to the discussion participants, urging them not to miss the opportunity for long-term improvement to specialist qualification recognition.

Dr Roberto Frontini, President of the EAHP said: “Prohibiting specialised qualifications from making use of a common training framework occurs …

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.