Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 35, Issue 9, pp 1575–1583 | Cite as

The educational environment for training in intensive care medicine: structures, processes, outcomes and challenges in the European region

  • The CoBaTrICE CollaborationEmail author



To characterise the training environment in ICM across Europe, with a particular focus on factors influencing competency-based training.


A cross-sectional web-based survey completed by the national coordinator for the CoBaTrICE (Competency-Based Training in Intensive Care medicinE) programme in each of 28 European countries.


Since the last survey in 2004, 50% of EU countries have modified their training programmes. Seven have already adopted the CoBaTrICE programme since its completion in 2006. Multidisciplinary access to ICM training (‘supraspeciality’ model) is available in 57%, most commonly as a 2-year training programme. National examinations are held by 26 (93%); in 24 (86%) this is a mandatory exit exam; ten use the European Diploma of Intensive Care (EDIC). A formal national system for quality assurance of ICM training exists in only 18 (64%) countries. National standards for approving hospitals as training centres vary widely. In 29% there is no designated specialist with responsibility for training at the local level. Time for teaching was cited as inadequate by 93% of respondents; only 21% of trainers receive contractual recognition for their work. In 39% there is no protected teaching time for trainees. Half of countries surveyed have no formal system for workplace-based assessment of competence of trainees.


There is considerable diversity in pedagogic structures, processes and quality assurance of ICM across Europe. National training organisations should develop common standards for quality assurance, health systems need to invest in educator support, and the EU should facilitate harmonisation by recognising ICM as a multidisciplinary speciality.


Intensive care Critical care Training Accreditation Assessment Professional competence 



D. D’Hoir, N. Le Devic (European Society of Intensive Care Medicine), N. Middleton, B.Lafferty, C. Edwards (University of Birmingham); K. Tulkis, J. Aulehle (ECOTEC), C. Van Der Vleuten (University of Maastricht). The project is partly funded by a grant from the European Union Leonardo Da Vinci program, with support from the University of Birmingham, European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, University of Maastricht, University of Mater Misericordiae, CYber Imagination and the simulation group SAInT.

Supplementary material

134_2009_1514_MOESM1_ESM.doc (45 kb)
Supplementary material (DOC 45 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ESICMAvenue Joseph Loybran 40BrusselsBelgium

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