Update of the European requirements for training in neonatology: Alignment with standard in education & training

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The European Union of Medical Specialists (Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes – UEMS) recently adopted an update of the UEMS 2021.18 European Training Requirements in Neonatology (ETR Neonatology). The ETR Neonatology update was led by a committee consisting of neonatal experts and members of the European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR) who were individually appointed by the UEMS. Professor Charles Roehr, president of the ESPR and chair of our Topic Expert Group on Education and Training, was named as writing group lead for the work on the ETR Neonatology.


The ETR Neonatology set out the minimum necessities for training in neonatology and are specifically tailored to modern day clinical practice and administrative realities within Europe. By doing so, the curriculum aims to support national training programmes in neonatal medicine. After receiving at least three years of basic training in paediatrics, the syllabus committee recommends additional specialist neonatal training of equal length, which is outlined in the ETR Neonatology. Key competencies of the ETR Neonatology include family care and care of the newborn baby, transport of the newborn baby, cardiorespiratory intensive care and resuscitation/stabilisation to name but a few.


© EFCNI / Quirin Leppert

A comprehensive process was undertaken from 2017 to 2021 to update the training requirements of 2007, which included reviewing policy documents on training requirements, national syllabi as well as our European Standards of Care for Newborn Health (ESCNH). Additionally, representatives of over 30 European national neonatal societies were asked to actively provide further input on the syllabus to guarantee international applicability. Silke Mader, co-founder and Chairwoman of the Executive Board of the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI), was also invited to read and comment on the ETR Neonatology, highlighting the parent perspective and reassuring alignment with our ESCNH.


The combined efforts resulted in a pan-European training curriculum for neonatal care, with recommendations suitable for countries throughout Europe irrespective of their level of income.


The ETR Neonatology are available here and the press release of the Nuffield Department of Population Health here.