Mission and approach of the Education spearhead group

Creating an overview of the continuing education within epidemiology
Following the decision not to re-register, the board of the VvE decided to create a good overview of the continuing education within epidemiology. The existing overview of the Epidemiology courses and (online) courses on the website of the VvE may not be up to date and may be incomplete.

In the period 2021-2025, the Spearhead Group Education will update this overview of Epidemiology courses and (online) courses. To this end, cooperation is particularly sought with the Epidemiology trainers (and/or training coordinators), because they will be familiar with the courses on offer. An explicit distinction will be made between courses offered online and those that are not. Where possible, each course indicates which of the core competencies are covered within the course. If any gaps are clearly identified, courses can be added to the list, for example from international programmes, as a possible next step.

Preparing for the3rd round of review of the Epidemiology programs
The second round of review of the Epidemiology programs will be completed and evaluated in 2020. This evaluation showed that the visitation had been a valuable process and had led to improvements in the quality of the study programmes. The proposal to hold a third visitation round is widely supported among the trainers.

In 2021, the Education Spearhead Group will start coordinating the process of setting up the new review committee, so that it can take shape, be implemented and be evaluated in the period 2021-2025. The way in which the visitation round will be organised will be discussed with the committee, also taking into account any wishes expressed by the study programmes. Within that process, attention will be paid to the purpose of the visitations and how this can be clearly communicated to all study programmes. Both points were in fact highlighted as areas for improvement in the evaluation. The aim is for all programmes to be inspected within 18 months (mid 2022 - end 2023).

Coordination of a meeting of course coordinators
The evaluation of the second visitation round of the Epidemiology courses revealed the need for more knowledge about each other's courses. It would be valuable and inspiring if the training coordinators could meet on a regular basis (once or twice a year) to exchange experiences and learn from each other. Attention could also be paid to the way in which the various programmes are designed (structure) and to what extent (and how) the various core competences receive attention within the various programmes.

The Speergroep Education will take the initiative for the meetings with the education coordinators of the Epidemiology programmes. The first meeting will take place in the first half of 2021 and thereafter at a frequency of once or twice a year. The aim is for this to become a structural consultation. During the next meeting, attention will be paid to the core competencies and how they are arranged within the various courses. The content of the subsequent meetings will be coordinated with the training coordinators.

Orientation on changing registration requirements
Part of the meeting with the training coordinators will be a reflection on the current registration requirements and to what extent these reflect the core activities of epidemiologists in the Netherlands. This may prompt further discussion of registration requirements in the coming years.

Update and consultation with Committee of Review and Assessment (CTB) epidemiology
In 2014, the registration requirements for Epidemiologist A and B were reviewed and updated. In recent years, experience has been gained with these new requirements. There will be regular contact between the Education Spearhead Group and the CTB on these matters and other ongoing issues. The CTB is also involved in the discussion about the new core competences in epidemiology and the possible consequences for the registration requirements.

WEON preconference education
A suitable place to exchange experiences with epidemiology lecturers and to receive further education seems to be the WEON. Where possible, we will organize a pre-conference focusing on education prior to the WEON. The theme of the 2021 education preconference could be "Online Education in Times of Corona". Depending on the experiences with this proposed preconference, one or more educational preconferences may follow in the period 2022-2025.