Respiratory Infections

Project Aim

Respiratory infections are gaining importance in Europe as they are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in most countries. At the same time, respiratory infections are not yet a defined specialty, for which formalised training programmes are available across Europe. Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop recommendations for an educational programme to continue professional development in this new field. Such a programme would include online modules, courses, etc. – and could lead to a certificate of excellence issued by ERS.

Target Audience

This project is aimed at respiratory physicians with a special interest in Respiratory Infections.

  • A situational analysis run by ERS as part of the newly established Respiratory Infections Educational Task Force asked the opinions of its members and advisors concerning two main areas: current training in Respiratory Infections and management of the disease. The findings were reported in an Editorial in Breathe and can be read here: Breathe Respiratory Infections


  • Defining and establishing clear standards for training in respiratory infections by developing a core syllabus is the main focus of the Respiratory Infections Task Force efforts. A modular approach with core and optional modules (Harden and David, 1995) was chosen to deliver the syllabus format. Furthermore, to reach consensus over a number of specific knowledge and skills items to be included in a Training Syllabus for Respiratory Infections, the Delphi Technique was applied. The Delphi process is depicted in the diagram below:

    The final version of the syllabus (14 modules after the 3rd Delphi round) was finalised and approved during the last Task Force meeting that took place during the ERS Congress in September 2016. The syllabus publication will follow in 2017.