4. Training programme

Structure of Programme

The programme is structured to recognise that on completion of training specialists in Paediatric Haematology and Oncology in Europe do not all carry the same range of responsibilities. Many undertake the care of children with all types of non-malignant haematological disorder and also children with leukaemia, lymphoma, solid tumours and CNS tumours. They may also do bone marrow/stem cell transplantation and may have limited laboratory duties such as the reporting of blood and bone marrow films. In the larger centres some Paediatric Haematologists/Oncologists may specialise in, for example, leukaemia, neuro-oncology or transplantation while usually also carrying out other responsibilities in the speciality. Some Haematologists have little or no responsibility for patients with malignancy, but specialise in non-malignant haematology and haemostasis.

In some countries Paediatric Haematologists, as well as having clinical duties, also carry full responsibility for running haematology laboratories. These specialists require additional training to allow them to do this.

Paediatric haematology and oncology encompass a wide range of complex disorders, the diagnosis and management of which are often difficult. Thus, specialisation within the sub-specialty is likely to continue, but all European subspecialists in Paediatric Haematology and Oncology need to have received the broad basic training outlined in this document. The programme therefore allows for further specialisation within the subspecialty. Thereby it is hoped that the programme will ensure high standards of training across Europe and will facilitate the movement of doctors between countries, while also providing for the service needs of each country.

Appendix 1 shows the nine training modules. It is important that these should be flexibly interpreted. The period shown against each module is to indicate the minimum proportion of the 3-year programme that every trainee must spend in each. In most centres it is likely that several modules will run concurrently. If a centre is not able to provide training in a particular area, such as bone marrow transplantation, then the trainee must move to another centre for the relevant period.



This is shown in Appendix 2. Modules 1 and 2 are delivered over the whole of the training period alongside other training. Module 1 is suitable for delivery by didactic teaching, preferably in courses held in large centres on a national or international basis. The other modules may be undertaken in any order.

The flexible module will be used to increase the experience of trainees according to their final career intentions. For example, a trainee may spend the flexible period increasing his/her experience in the care of children with coagulation disorders, haemoglobinopathies, CNS tumours, other solid tumours or in laboratory work. Experience in research may also be gained during the flexible module, but trainees wishing to undertake a substantial research project will generally need to do so outside this 3-year tertiary care training programme.


Duration of Training

The minimum period of specialist training in Paediatric Haematology and Oncology is 3 years of which at least 2 years must be clinical. Additional training may be needed for certain career posts. Thus, Paediatric Haematologists who, as well as having a clinical role, also have responsibility for running haematology laboratories, may need up to 2 years extra training.