Genetic education and the challenge of genomic medicine development of core competences to support preparation of health professionals in Europe
Domenico, A. C.
European Journal of Human Genetics
Nature Publishing Group
972 - 977
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The use of genetics and genomics within a wide range of health-care settings requires health professionals to develop expertise to practise appropriately. There is a need for a common minimum standard of competence in genetics for health professionals in Europe but because of differences in professional education and regulation between European countries, setting curricula may not be practical. Core competences are used as a basis for health professional education in many fields and settings. An Expert Group working under the auspices of the EuroGentest project and European Society of Human Genetics Education Committee agreed that a pragmatic solution to the need to establish common standards for education and practice in genetic health care was to agree to a set of core competences that could apply across Europe. These were agreed through an exhaustive process of consultation with relevant health professionals and patient groups. Sets of competences for practitioners working in primary, secondary and tertiary care have been agreed and were approved by the European Society of Human Genetics. The competences provide an appropriate framework for genetics education of health professionals across national boundaries, and the suggested learning outcomes are available to guide development of curricula that are appropriate to the national context, educational system and health-care setting of the professional involved. Collaboration between individuals from many European countries and professions has resulted in an adaptable framework for both pre-registration and continuing professional education. This competence framework has the potential to improve the quality of genetic health care for patients globally.