1. Introduction

This document sets out the minimum requirements for training in Tertiary Care Paediatric Haematology and Oncology. It defines the proposed European Training Programme for the education of specialists in Paediatric Haematology and Oncology who will practice their skills and expertise within the framework of a specialised tertiary care unit.

Paediatric Haematology and Oncology are greatly overlapping specialties and in many countries such as North America and Australasia, as well as in many countries in Europe, they are regarded as one specialty. Paediatric Haematology includes the care of children with leukaemia and non-malignant conditions such as coagulation disorders and haemoglobinopathies, and also children having bone marrow transplant. In some European countries Paediatric Haematologists also run haematology laboratories, providing a diagnostic and consultative service for which they require additional training. This extra training is controlled by the relevant national body. Paediatric Oncology incorporates the care of children with leukaemia, tumours of the central nervous system and with other solid tumours and may include the care of children having bone marrow transplants or other stem cell rescue procedures.

In most specialised tertiary centres specialists in Paediatric Haematology and Oncology work as a team, providing mutual cross-cover, individual specialists in the bigger centres often having specific interests and responsibilities, for example in coagulation disorders, bone marrow transplant, leukaemia or CNS tumours.

The suggested training programme has been designed in a modular fashion, the modules containing core knowledge and skills which are essential for all trainees in Paediatric Haematology and Oncology. Guidance is given for the minimum training required in each module. Trainees will be expected to spend additional time in certain modules, depending upon their final career intentions.

It is recognised that Paediatric Haematology and Oncology are academic specialties with the majority of treatments for leukaemia and other cancers being managed within national or international clinical trials. The management of many of the non-malignant disorders is often protocol-driven. Complex laboratory investigations are necessary both for diagnosis and clinical management as well as for better understanding of the diseases. Therefore, in addition to the minimum training described in this document, which should lead to the Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST), many trainees will choose to spend an extra period of several years undertaking laboratory or other research. While such research training and experience are not considered in this document, all trainees will be expected to become familiar with research methodologies