ECDC’s Training role aims to ‘support and coordinate training programmes in order to assist Member States and the Commission to have sufficient numbers of trained specialists, in particular in epidemiological surveillance and field investigations, and to have a capability to define health measures to control disease outbreaks.’ (Article 9, Regulation 851/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004, establishing ECDC).
As a core function of ECDC’s mandate, public health training is delivered by the corresponding section composed of three groups: training network strengthening, ECDC Fellowship Programme and Fellowship faculty bureau. Input via subject matter experts from disease programmes and public health function sections is essential for the development of Continuous Professional Development Programme (CPDP) activities.
Training activities are focused in three areas: training programmes in intervention epidemiology, country support, and virtual tools for public health training.
Key priorities for Public Health Training
By the end of 2019 the following objectives should have been achieved:
1. A new Continuous Professional Development Programme (CPDP) is operational in providing training for at least 300 member state experts per year in core functions for disease prevention and control, in particular for antimicrobial resistance and health care acquired infections.
2. The fellowship programmes have become harmonised into a single programme training 40 junior specialists in intervention epidemiology or public health microbiology per year.
3. The ECDC Virtual Academy is fully operational and makes distant learning courses freely available for all public health staff in the EU and offers a blended learning approach to all ECDC coordinated training efforts for the primary target group as defined in the strategy.
4. Training participants will actively participate in efforts led by National Focal Points for Training for cascading down the training to local, sub regional levels.
5. All offers for training will be based on solid needs assessments which will be regularly updated.
These priorities are defined in the ECDC Single Programming Document 2017.