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History

The initial objective of the European Accreditation Committee in CNS (EACIC) focused on developing a true European perspective to CME in CNS, mainly neuropsychiatry and neuropsychopharmacology. This programme for CME in CNS has been initiated in the context of ensuring that there is a pan-European dimension to education in CNS in order to establish methodologies for the most effective forms of CME, to ensure that common European educational standards can be developed, and to assist in promoting education in CNS in European countries. EACIC has been created within the framework of the Leonardo da Vinci Project (EUR/99/2091/1111b/ FBC, January 2000 - may 2000) from the European Commission and in close collaboration with the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. ECNP and the creation of EACIC can be considered a major achievement of this Leonardo project.

Following EACIC's creation, consumer surveys have been conducted during major international scientific events taking place in Europe. Two major international scientific events taking place in European cities in the field of CNS have been selected for which the surveys were applied: XXIInd CINP (Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum) congress (Brussels, July 9-13, 2000) and XXIIIth ECNP (European College of Neuropsychopharmacology) congress (Munich, September 9-13, 2000). More than 5000 participants were present at each of these congresses. The scientific programmes of these congresses have been evaluated and approved by EACIC. Specific feedback forms have been produced and distributed during the congresses.
Monitoring and evaluations have been made based on the responses to the feedback forms. The same procedure was used for the WCBP (World Congress of Biological Psychiatry) congress, organized in Berlin (July 1-6, 2001), for the 15th ECNP Congress organized in Barcelona (October 5-9, 2002), for the World Congress on Psychiatric Genetics organized in Brussels (October 9-13, 2002), for the CNS symposia organized by the European Institute of Healthcare (June and November 2002, Barcelona), for the XIV European Certificate in Anxiety and Mood Disorders organized in Canterbury (29 June-4 July, 2002)and for the ECNP Congresses 2003-2008.
A country survey on CME systems in Europe, including 10 European countries, has been conducted by EACIC, showing that a high percentage of respondents in all countries felt that a common European system of quality control for CME in CNS was needed (the range is between 76% and 86% according the different countries). There is also a low percentage of people aware of the system (33.3% for CME and 17.4% for CME specific to CNS disorders), implying that not only is a quality control system needed, but also a system of publicizing the existence of the CME for CNS disorders is also needed. Information on the project and EACIC has been implemented through various publications in scientific journals, newsletters and through a web site. A number of highly regarded CNS experts throughout Europe have been contacted. These experts are involved in the assessment of scientific programmes of meetings, enduring material and have been helping to ensure that all CME activities are validated.
EACIC has been involved in the accreditation of all kind of scientific events (international congresses, satellite symposia, educational programmes) and of enduring material (reading material, books, CD-ROMs) mainly in the field of neuropsychiatry and neuropsychopharmacology. Using a standard feedback procedure, doctors or allied professionals' opinions have been analyzed for all accredited events by EACIC. For each event or material, the following statements are analyzed: the scientific standard, the educational standard, the relevance to clinical practice, the ability to change clinical practice and the overall excellence of the activity.In major congresses, the procedure has been facilitated by the use of electronic evaluation forms available on the EACIC web site. Evaluation reports are then sent to the organizers.
Future activities of EACIC will involve the accreditation of scientific events and efforts to reach a pan European dimension in obtaining recognition by national and international accreditation bodies in Europe. The objective is also to establish links with non-European systems, mainly in the United-States and Eastern European Countries.