European Board for Accreditation of
Continuing Education for Health Professionals

EBAC 2020

This is to extend warm thanks to all of you for your continuing cooperation and support in 2020!

Starting into 2020 nobody had anticipated as what devastating disruption the Covid-19 pandemic would cause for our professional as well as private activities. The medical profession has not only fulfilled its duties in caring for our patients, but also risen to the enormous challenge in our fight against the unprecedented virus pandemic hitting our societies globally. We all have also managed as a group to continue with our educational activities, although out of necessity with a different approach.

The Covid-19 pandemic has demanded from all of us maximum flexibility and creativity to prevent a complete lockdown of all medical education. All crisis presents an opportunity for a new (and hopefully better) approach. This is particularly true in the field of medical education. The pandemic has initiated not only an intense discussion on values and limitations of online education, but also is helping to identify and define a new balance between online education and face to face meetings. What at first appeared as an emergency solution to many of us to just avoid total breakdown, has subsequently turned out to offer new perspectives regarding outreach and involvement of international audiences. It will be interesting to see how this will further develop in 2021 and beyond, when Covid-19 hopefully will have been controlled by vaccination.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic EBAC has been committed to offer the most flexible support that it possibly can and this support will continue to assist you all in the planning and delivery of CME for all medical specialties as well as health teams (interprofessional CE). 

2020 has also been an important year for accrediting bodies who have created a global basis for cooperation for which the term “substantive equivalency” of accreditation systems has been coined. The International Academy for CPD Accreditation has in its yearly public meeting (Cologne Consensus Conference, Sept. 2020) adopted the “Standards for Substantive Equivalency between CME/CPD Accreditation Systems”, which have also been endorsed by EBAC. In our view these standards have the potential to provide a unifying basis for planning, delivery and, last not least, accreditation of CME/CPD worldwide. They will also be of particular importance for the medical profession in EU. In the absence of EU regulation to define standards in CME/CPD on CME, this task will exclusively fall to the member states. National regulations so far show maximal individuality and diversity. According to a recent communication from the EU to EBAC, the EU does not plan to mandate any organization (e. g. medical professional political organizations) to implement CME/CPD standards. Furthermore, the EU does not intend itself to implement such standards. This could only happen if there is a change to the “Treaty on the Functioning of the EU”.

Thus, it is our hope that the “Standards” which we are proposing will be accepted by regulators, national medical associations, and accrediting bodies in Europe. In addition, the International Academy is going to lobby for this goal with the relevant European political and professional organizations.

With best wishes for a peaceful Christmas and New Year and: 

Please stay safe!