Maintenance of certification for radiologists: an overview of European countries

Insights Imaging. 2020 Jul 17;11(1):85. doi: 10.1186/s13244-020-00893-4.


Background: It is currently unclear whether the continuing medical education (CME) requirements for radiologists to keep up their certification are equal across Europe, which would be desirable for uniform cross-border quality of radiology and because of the fundamental principle of free movement of workers in the European Union. This study aimed to determine the maintenance of certification requirements for radiologists in different European countries.

Methods: National radiological societies of European countries and/or their delegates as listed on the European Society of Radiology website were contacted to inquire about the maintenance of licensure requirements for radiologists in their country. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics.

Results: Forty-six European countries were contacted. Response rate was 80%. Twenty-two of 36 responding countries (59%) reported mandatory requirements to maintain a radiologist's license to practise. The median license period was 5 years (range 1-7). The median required number of CME points per year was 40 (range 8-58, interquartile range 30). Eight countries reported additional requirements, including practising clinical radiology, attending quality meeting/clinical audit, and attending additional courses (such as radiation safety training and advanced medical training course). Fifteen of 37 responding countries (41%) did not report mandatory requirements.

Conclusions: There is considerable heterogeneity across European countries regarding the maintenance of certification requirements for radiologists. More homogeneity is desired for uniform quality assurance and professional mobility of radiologists across Europe. The data from our overview may be used to establish a benchmark for national societies who issue maintenance of licensure requirements for radiologists.

Keywords: Certification; Continuing; Education; Licensure; Radiology.