Development of core competencies for an international training programme in intensive care medicine

Intensive Care Med. 2006 Sep;32(9):1371-83. doi: 10.1007/s00134-006-0215-5. Epub 2006 Jul 14.


Objective: The aim of this study was to define the core (minimum) competencies required of a specialist in adult intensive care medicine (ICM). This is the second phase of a 3-year project to develop an internationally acceptable competency-based training programme in ICM for Europe (CoBaTrICE).

Methodology: Consensus techniques (modified Delphi and nominal group) were used to enable interested stakeholders (health care professionals, educators, patients and their relatives) to identify and prioritise core competencies. Online and postal surveys were used to generate ideas. A nominal group of 12 clinicians met in plenary session to rate the importance of the competence statements constructed from these suggestions. All materials were presented online for a second round Delphi prior to iterative editorial review.

Results: The initial surveys generated over 5,250 suggestions for competencies from 57 countries. Preliminary editing permitted us to encapsulate these suggestions within 164 competence stems and 5 behavioural themes. For each of these items the nominal group selected the minimum level of expertise required of a safe practitioner at the end of their specialist training, before rating them for importance. Individuals and groups from 29 countries commented on the nominal group output; this informed the editorial review. These combined processes resulted in 102 competence statements, divided into 12 domains.

Conclusion: Using consensus techniques we have generated core competencies which are internationally applicable but still able to accommodate local requirements. This provides the foundation upon which an international competency based training programme for intensive care medicine can be built.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Competency-Based Education*
  • Critical Care*
  • Curriculum
  • Delphi Technique
  • Education, Medical*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Specialization*