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HPCB Conference 2013 - Healthcare professional mobility and patient safety: looking to the future

On Thursday 31 October 2013, Healthcare Professionals Crossing Borders (HPCB) participants gathered in London to discuss the new Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications; the European joint action on healthcare workforce; and other regulatory developments.

The event was hosted by the Health and Care Professions Council and provided an opportunity for healthcare professional regulators to hear from European Commission representatives and share their views on key aspects of the new Directive, including the European Professional Card (EPC).

A panel discussion on the card acknowledged that streamlining the recognition process would be helpful to smaller countries and welcomed the suggestion that the development of IMI to accommodate recognition with an EPC would facilitate the introduction of the alert mechanism. It also noted that, to be truly valuable, recognition with an electronic card must accommodate for ‘outlier’ cases. These are cases of a complex nature (i.e. general systems recognition) that take a significant time for competent authorities to process. It was also highlighted that making the EPC available to employers and the public has the potential to cause confusion, especially as the EPC does not represent proof that a competent authority has granted access to the profession following recognition. It is also a particular concern for those countries where regulators already have online registers accessible to the public. Making the EPC available to patients and employers would create unnecessary duplication and has the potential to create confusion, unless a derogation is granted to those with online professional registers.

In the afternoon, two breakout sessions focused on formalising standards for osteopathic care across Europe and the introduction of revalidation for doctors in the UK.

Presentations from the day

The modernisation of the professional qualifications Directive and The European Professional Card

András Zsigmond, Internal Market and Services Directorate General (DG MARKT), European Commission

Formalising standards across Europe: a case study on osteopathy

Gert-Jan Goede, Chair of the Forum for Osteopathic Regulation in Europe Jonathan Bailey Teyletche, President of the European Federation of Osteopaths

Revalidation of doctors in the UK

Clare Barton, Assistant Director, Registration and Revalidation, General Medical Council, UK Jon Billings, Assistant Director, Registration and Revalidation, General Medical Council, UK

Joint Action for the EU health workforce and forecasting

Lieve Jorens, Project Manager, Joint Action on health workforce planning and forecasting

EU mapping study on continuous professional development

Caroline Hager, Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) European Commission