In 1999, the Bologna declaration was issued with the aim of establishing a European area of higher education to be recognised worldwide. This declaration sought curriculum improvement, quality assurance, qualifications frameworks, recognition, mobility and social equity. Following this call for educational reform, the EU parliament and council Directive 2005/36/EC focused specifically on medical education within Europe, outlining the goal of formal recognition of medical degrees as well as post-graduate specialists qualifications in Europe.
Within the European Union, respiratory disease account for 17 per cent of male and 10 per cent of female deaths. In monetary terms, the European Lung Foundation (ELF) estimates economic burden at approximately €102 billion. Subspecialty training and the career development of the young respiratory specialists is fundamental to delivering quality care.
Since 1990, ERS continues to produce consensus statements and clinical practice guidelines within the field of respiratory medicine. In line with these initiatives to strengthen respiratory medicine, ERS has led the action to standardise post-graduate medical education under the HERMES initiative (Harmonising Education in Respiratory Medicine for European Specialists).
Since 2005, 9 HERMES task forces aim to standardise training and education within different specialties of respiratory medicine. With the goal of uniform education at its core, HERMES seeks to prescribe the knowledge and skills required of the respiratory specialists and produce educational tools to support the implementation of various educational activities. Within the HERMES website you will find information on the development strategy, each of the HERMES projects, and the documents and activities that have been produced to achieve its goal.
European Educational Reform
ERS Project Initiative
Within the HERMES model, a process for establishing consensus standards follows a methodological structure including facilitated meetings with content experts, the Delphi technique to survey a wide and represented number of experts, and finally plenary sessions to discuss difficult items.
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.