Core competencies for infection control and hospital hygiene professionals in the European Union

training material
Publication series: Core competencies

This document is published with the intent of proposing a comprehensive list of core competencies that should be adopted by infection control and hospital hygiene professionals across Europe.
Core competencies are listed in two columns, one for senior specialists (‘expert level’) and one adapted for junior specialists (‘introductory level’).

Executive summary

With this technical report, the intent of ECDC is to propose a comprehensive list of core competencies that should be adopted by infection control and hospital hygiene professionals across Europe.

The use of these core competencies would support:

  • standardisation of the competencies for infection control and hospital hygiene professionals in Europe;
  • design and implementation of training courses according to different national contexts while facilitating the mutual recognition of competencies across EU Member States;
  • self-assessment of performance for infection control and hospital hygiene professionals and planning of their professional development;
  • identification of the needs of healthcare organisations with regard to professional staff; and
  • evaluation of the performance of infection control and hospital hygiene professionals.

Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are recognised as a major burden for patients, society and healthcare management. In 2008, ECDC estimated that more than four million people acquire a HAI each year in the EU, of which approximately 37000 die as the direct consequence of the infection.

Effective prevention and control of HAI in healthcare organisations relies on specialised infection control and hospital hygiene staff in charge of elaborating, implementing and monitoring local preventive measures such as hand hygiene and patient isolation.

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