Development Strategy

Within the HERMES model, the Delphi technique is used to survey a wide and represented number of experts. The methodology of online surveys, facilitated meetings and plenary sessions with recognsied experts is used from the initial situational analysis phase through to curriculum development.

To support the implementation of each phase a number of educational tools have been produced by the various ERS educational task forces including, multiple choice question exams, ERS handbooks publications, post-graduate courses, skills workshops, train-the-trainer workshops, online websites and MCQ tests. The scope of HERMES continues to grow and produce high quality documents and activities to assist in the implementation of HERMES activities at national and local levels.

  • Prelimiany Phase


    The first step for project development is to investigate current training practices and evaluation of training programs. This provides justification to project task forces to proceed with project tasks. Within this phase, the task force investigates the need for standardised training and certification across Europe and looks towards gathering information including;

    1. Current training practices

    2. Structure of educational training programs, assessment techniques and certification

    3. Who has responsibility for specific tasks in different countries, regions and hospitals?

    4. Multi-disciplinary nature and management of the particular clinical practice

    The information gathered within this survey for each of the projects is essential in the assessment of training and to guide task force discussion on what activities specific to each project are most beneficial to trainees and for continuous professional development.
  • Development of a consensus-based Worldwide Core Syllabus


    Building on the evaluation survey, a training concept is agreed upon by the task force. Specific competencies in the respiratory specialty are identified and defined using consensus methods and a collaborative approach. A wide consult of various stakeholders occurs and a final syllabus is then published as a recommendation. This list of knowledge and competency items serves as a starting point and sets the platform from which to build a curriculum and assessments to ensure the maximum quality of care as the respiratory specialty develops.
  • Development of a consensus-based Worldwide Core Curriculum


    This phase aims to develop generally accepted worldwide curriculum recommendations, suggesting how competencies in respiratory medicine should be taught and learned. For each curriculum module, there is a statement of the objectives of training for that module which is expressed in terms of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to complete training.

  • Development of assessment methods



    In this phase assessment methods are developed so that the most appropriate and applicable programme of assessment is outlined. This is done by developing a blueprint that links learning outcomes with learning activities and assessment. The first assessment method was the introduction of a knowledge-based examination in adult respiratory medicine with multiple-choice questions (MCQs). This was developed in close cooperation with the Swiss Society for Pneumology. The examination is based on the examination blueprint containing weighted examination topics. It is a knowledge based examination composed of 90 MCQs which must be answered in 3 hours. Successful candidates are awarded an ERS European diploma and become ERS Diplomates.

    In addition to knowledge based assessment, HERMES has developed assessment tools that reflect the required skills and attitudes of respiratory specialists in the various projects. Skills based assessment is becoming increasingly important.
  • Development of accreditation and standards for training centers


    The purpose of accreditation within the HERMES initiative is to ensure that all training centre networks in the various specialties of respiratory medicine have the opportunity to obtain recognition for their educational programs in respiratory medicine training.

    Development of this project phase requires two key steps:

    1. Documented minimum criteria

    2. Detailed processes and supporting documentation to determine if pre-requisites are met

    Once criteria for accreditation have been published, the second step refers to the process and is modelled on the well-established accreditation practice of site visits.