About the exam
The exam is intended as a measure of the knowledge needed for core paediatric training. It is open to all trainees who are in a recognised training institute, whether within Europe or elsewhere in the world.
History and purpose
Many countries in Europe have quite different approaches to the assessment of training. To address this, and to ensure that trainees from across Europe are trained in a comparable manner, the UEMS set up the European Council for Accreditation of Medical Specialist Qualifications (ECAMSQ) in 2008. The principles of assessment are that the competence of the trainee is the critical factor.
Assessment is generally accepted as needing four different elements: knowledge, clinical assessment (summative assessments), experience and competency (formative assessments).
Knowledge is usually assessed by means of a written exam, most commonly an MCQ exam. Such exams may test core training knowledge, or may be used at a later stage in training to assess specialist knowledge.
Clinical assessment (often just termed clinical exams) involve trainees being assessed face to face by examiners who test their ability to interpret data, assess patients or plan care.
Experience is usually either assessed by duration of training, or by the evaluation of logbooks determining what cases or what procedures have been encountered by the trainee.
Competency is often assessed by using a number of in-training mini-assessments, such as case based discussion, directly observed procedures and others. Information on these techniques (from the CanMeds website) can be found here.
European recommendations are not binding on any country, and each must determine for themselves how to assess competency, but the recommendations do provide a uniform platform on which training evaluation can be based.
The EAP has simultaneously been agreeing the elements of core training, that should be learnt by all doctors who predominately practise in paediatric medicine. This includes primary care doctors working with children, general paediatricians in hospital and subspecialists. The curriculum for that core training has been agreed 3 years ago, and approved by the UEMS.
Having recognised that knowledge examination is a critical component of the evaluation process, the need to develop an examination for European paediatricians is pressing. Some countries (such as the UK and Ireland) use an established exam, but most have no access to a standardised exam. This is wanted by EAP, but also by the UEMS, and by CESMA, the European group that oversees examinations in medicine. Over the last 10 years, many other (adult based) specialists have developed such exams, and paediatrics needs to join them.
Any examination needs to be a part of a broader assessment. The EAP strongly supports the need for competency assessment, as well as clinical examination and logbooks. However those additional assessments are usually better arranged within countries, and conducted in the native language of the trainees. At this stage (2020) the EAP is therefore looking to provide a high quality knowledge based exam, although the possibility of future clinical examinations remains our ambition.
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Who are the UEMS?
The Union of European Medical Specialists was founded in 1958 and is the oldest pan-European medical organisation. It has national representation from 40 countries. Within UEMS there are 43 specialist sections, of which one – the section of paediatrics – represents all medical paediatrics from primary care through to specialists. More information about the UEMS can be found here.
UEMS has a major role in developing harmonised training programs within medical specialties across different countries, and in accrediting educational events.
What is the EBP?
The European Board of Paediatrics is the Executive body of the Section of Paediatrics. It acts as a link between the UEMS and the EAP. It follows the rules and procedures of the UEMS, reviewing training programs and recommending them to the Council of the UEMS for approval. It is also responsible for setting standards for assessing training and training centres.
Who are young EAP?
The young EAP are trainees in paediatrics from across Europe. More information can be found here.
Rob Ross Russell
Is the current Chair of the European Board of Paediatrics. Rob works at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, UK, where he has been a consultant in Paediatric Intensive Care and Paediatric Respiratory Medicine.
Martin White is a member of the Examinations Committee and EBP member. He is currently a National Specialty Director for Neonatology in Ireland and a former Dean of the Faculty of Paediatrics RCPI. He is a Neonatologist in CHI Crumlin and Coombe Hospitals, Dublin.
Liviana da Dalt
Full Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Padova, Italy, is the current Director of the Residency training Program in Paediatrics, the Rector Delegate for postgraduate Medical Education and the Vice President of the Medical School.
Has held the positions of Chair of the European Board of Paediatrics and subsequently President of theEAP. He has held the position of Vice Chair of the Council for European Specialist Medical Assessment (CESMA-UEMS) and has been the founding Chair of the Global Pediatric Education Consortium (GPEC).
Who can apply?
The exam is intended as a measure of core paediatric training. It is open to all trainees who are in a recognised training institute, whether within Europe or elsewhere in the world. Applicants will need to provide a letter of confirmation from their training institute that certifies the trainee is a qualified doctor, and is training in paediatrics.
We also believe that fully qualified paediatricians may also find this exam useful for confirming their ongoing professional development, or for ‘revalidation’. Applicants with substantive posts in paediatrics can therefore also apply, again needing a letter from their institution confirming their position.
Who should take the exam?
As suggested above, the main group for whom this exam is designed is trainees in paediatrics. These may be in Europe (where they could be training in hospital based or community based posts) but the exam may also be valuable for trainees overseas, especially those looking for European experience*. We also believe that the exam may be useful for general practitioners who want additional paediatric experience, or for established paediatricians wanting to undertake CPD/revalidation.
*but please note the section below
What does the exam mean?
This exam is an assessment of knowledge, and successful candidates will get a certificate demonstrating that their theoretical knowledge of paediatrics has achieved a level to satisfy the UEMS. CESMA – the European body tasked with monitoring training assessment in Europe, has been involved with the exam from its inception, and their approval of the exam is anticipated once it has been running for a couple of years.
However it is not intended as a measure of completion of training. Assessment of knowledge is one component of assessing trainee competency, but needs to be taken into account with other measures (such as clinical skills and competencies, and volume of experience) before training can be properly assessed as complete.
As a European exam, no national medical body can be obliged to recognise the exam in their country, and it will not guarantee admission to any training program, but it will be valuable evidence of a level of training that will be recognised as such across Europe.
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Applicants for the examination should apply through the on-line portal “Watch this space’”
Please note that the application will not be processed until the letter of support from your training/working institution has been uploaded.
The fee structure for 2020 is as follows:
|Paediatric trainees in European* centre||€350|
|Paediatric trainees in overseas centres||€550|
|Paediatricians in substantive posts||€550|
The first exam will be held during the EAPS meeting in Barcelona in October 2020. Details of the meeting are here. It is not essential that candidates also register for the EAPS meeting, and they can attend solely for the examination. However, we have timed the examination to coincide with the meeting as we believe that many will wish to attend both.
Thereafter the EAP is planning two exams annually, which will be organised around EAP meetings in the Spring and Autumn. Exact dates will be posted on this website once finalised.
At present we have no plans to run the exam outside Europe.
List of successful candidates
Join our question writers! We have many paediatricians – senior trainees and established paediatricians – who are helping with question writing groups. Anyone interested please contact Ann Garrott on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also have a group of book chapter writers, developing case studies for the textbook.
Acknowledgements – our heroes!
(chapter writers and question writers)