Differences and Commonalities of National Field Epidemiology Training Programmes in Europe
From 1994 to 2009, national field epidemiology training programmes (FETP) have been installed in Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Norway. During their two year duration, different components of the FETP are devised as follows: 63-79 weeks are spent on projects in hosting institutes, 2-26 weeks in outside projects, 9-30 weeks in courses and modules, and 1-2 weeks in scientific conferences. A considerable proportion of the Spanish FETP has is provided conventional ‘class room training’. The content of the modules is very similar for all programmes. Except from the Italian programme, all focus on infectious disease epidemiology. The German and Norwegian programmes are so called EPIET-associated programmesas their participants are integrated in the modules and the supervision offered by EPIET, but salaries, facilitators, and training sites are provided by the national programme. These EPIET-associated programmes require strong communications skills in English. Alumni of all five FETP are generally working within the public health work force in their respective countries or at international level, many of them in leading functions. Although three new FETP have been installed since the last published ‘Euroroundup’ in Eurosurveillance on European FETP in 2001, the progress with respect to the establishment of national FETP or EPIET-associated programmes has been slow. Member States should be aware of how much support EPIET can offer for the establishment of national FETP or EPIET-associated programmes. However, they also need to be ready to provide the necessary resources, the administrative environment and long-term dedication to make field epidemiology training work.