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Table 1 Summary of IPC professionals’ profiles, training opportunities and current training needs

From: Education and training programmes for infection prevention and control professionals: mapping the current opportunities and local needs in European countries

  IPC doctor profile and training IPC nurses profile and training Other IPC training opportunities Training Needs
Cyprus Microbiologist or ID specialist or other doctors
No IPC certification
No qualification mandated
Work experience in related fields No qualification mandated Link Nurses: 60-h training programme
One 90-ECTS IPC Master program
National training program covering all fields of IPC
England Clinical Microbiologists or other doctors No qualification mandated Registered with the nursing and midwifery council
No qualification mandated
Pending: Advanced nursing practice in IPC, nursing assistant
Master in IPC
Short courses by Hospital Infection Society and Royal College of Nursing
Clearer training pathway into IPC specialization including training requirements and assessment
France Medical doctors (microbiology, PH, ID) or pharmacists
No qualification mandated
2017: Cross sectional specialised training for medical internship
Laboratory technicians
No qualification mandated
2019: Advanced nursing practice in IPC
38 post-graduate University degrees in IPC of 1–3 years Course targeting specific populations and topics
Key domains (ie.implementation) should be covered
Germany Certified medical specialty (48-month training at a facility which has an authorization for postgraduate medical IPC education and 12-month clinical training); final board examination
Doctors: 60-month postgraduate training; medical specialty
Doctors: IPC training open to all specialists (200 h) as advanced training
Certified nurse specialty
(12-month training program)
40-h course to become link doctor or link nurse Increase training opportunities by creating professorships at every university to ensure
(1) IPC training of all medical students
(2) junior staff promotion
(3) structural integrity of long-term IPC programmes
Greece Microbiologists, ID specialists or other clinicians with 5-year experience in ID or IPC
No qualification mandated
Nursing university degree and 5-year working experience 5-day training seminar by Greek Society for Infection Control Standardised country-wide training program
Include IPC training in the curricula of ID and Microbiology
Italy Doctors specialized in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine or Infectious diseases
No qualification mandated
No IPC certification
One official Master course in IPC (since 2014)
Otherwise no specific qualification required
Short courses at hospital and regional level or within scientific societies on specific topics
Accredited online and on-site courses to become link doctors and link nurses
Standardized methodology and approach to IPC training at national level
Netherlands Clinical microbiologists
3 months training on IPC out of 60-month specialty training in clinical microbiology
Registered nurses or lab technicians following a training programme of 38 lectures and a minimum of working experience of 18 (Utrecht) to 24 months (Groningen) in an IPC department, as well as writing a thesis Short courses available for link nurses Duration of IPC training for doctors too short
Lack of expert nurses in IPC
Poland Medical Doctors who have completed training course or certified clinical microbiologists, epidemiologists, ID, PH or healthcare management specialists
IPC training included in specialty training (4 months out of 48-month clinical microbiology and epidemiology training programme, or 3 days in infectious diseases training programme)
Registered nurses with 2 years of work experience following a 2-year training program (844 h) qualification program Master program in IPC but not official qualification Create an independent specialization for doctors and determining the legal frameworks for employment
Financial incentive to be addressed for nurses
Romania ID and epidemiology involved in hospital IPC activities IPC is not regulated as stand-alone nursing specialization Formal training and position, following 3-year post-highschool training, followed by a form of postgraduate training in IPC CME courses organised each year by different medical universities, on topics related to IPC
CNE courses organised each year by the Order of General Medical Nurses, Midwives and Medical Nurses, on topics related to IPC
Standardisation and clarification of recognised training, curricula and tasks for IPC doctors and nurses
Improve the consistency of the specialty
Spain Physicians in preventive medicine and public health (4-year post-graduate period combining 1 year Master degree in public health and clinical residency) No nationally recognised specialty
Employment by public organization require scores on national examinations
Several postgraduate university courses in IPC and AMS or Master degrees (15–60 ECTS)
Variety of short courses endorsed by societies
Urgent holistic approach to education and training is warranted
Focus on quality improvement, implementation science and communication
Align national nurse competencies with European domains
Switzerland Doctors with 3-year working experience in any field and 3-year working experience in ID and board examination and 1-year working in IPC again with board examination and at least 1 scientific paper published in IPC field Certified nurse specialty (2-year IPC training programme after basic studies, including final exam and thesis) 6-day training to become a link nurse Strengthening the importance of needs-appropriate IPC training for implementation of minimum requirements for IPC in hospitals
  1. AMS, antimicrobial stewardship; ECTS, European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System; ID, infectious diseases; IPC, infection prevention and control; PH, public health