Update from the EFI Education Committee

The Education Committee welcomed a new member, Professor Katarzyna Bogunia-Kubik from Poland, who will be the representative for central Europe (Region 5) replacing Tony Slavcev. We are still looking for a representative for Germany, and in the meantime, Monika Lindemann is kindly staying on the committee.

European Specialisation in H&I (ESHI) Diploma
At the end of September, we held the first face to face ESHI Diploma examination for a number of years, in Leiden and one candidate applied and passed the modules they had applied for. Information on the application process for the ESHI examinations can be accessed via the Section of Surgery Transplant Immunology page of the UEMS website. The next examinations are planned to take place in Nantes on 25th April 2023. Availability of online examinations has been beneficial for some candidates and allows for greater flexibility. We are therefore hoping that each year we will hold one round of examinations in person at the EFI Conference and the Autumn round of examinations will be online.

The 30 minutes presentations on different aspects of H&I including transplant immunology, HSCT, solid organ transplantation, disease association and transfusion are still available to EFI members via the website. Log on to the EFI website and navigate to the e-learning section, then follow the instructions to register and create an account to access the talks. Links to other learning resources are also on the same page of the website. We hope to have other e-learning resource content (e.g. EFI Conference Teaching Sessions and Summer School talks) available via the website very soon.

European Technical H&I Qualification (ETHIQ)
The aim of this scheme was to create a qualification 
that gives a measure of both knowledge and technical competence in H&I. The scheme is for technical staff working in EFI accredited laboratories, with supervision given by senior staff in their own lab. The pilot allowed 4 colleagues working in France to successfully complete the logbook, associated work and undertake an online assessment involving a series of multiple-choice questions (MCQs). It is hoped another 2 candidates in the pilot will complete the heir training very soon. 

In November 2022, a questionnaire was sent to all EFI Laboratory directors to obtain some feedback about how the ETHIQ Diploma should work for laboratories. The main points from the questionnaire are summarised below:

  • Feedback from questionnaire was positive
  • Most laboratories would plan to register eligible candidates gradually
  • A webinar for trainees and training supervisors would be welcomed
  • Translation of the logbook would be welcome in some countries
  • The cost of €200-250 would be prohibitive for some laboratories
  • The need for candidates to be EFI members would be challenging for some laboratories

In response to this feedback the Education Committee and Executive Committee are currently discussing the issues of cost and EFI membership and these will be finalised in time for the Launch in April 2023. The portfolio has now been developed for completion online and we are planning to launch the ETHIQ Diploma at the EFI Conference in Nantes. There will be a special lunchtime session on Thursday 27th April, 13:30 – 14:30 where interested candidates and supervisors can come along and hear about the training programme, the application process, how to participate from both a candidate and a training supervisor perspective. There is a separate article about the ETHIQ Diploma in this Newsletter and please look out for further information about the registration process and deadlines on the EFI website and via email.

EFI Continued Medical Education (CME) / Continued Professional Development (CPD)
We have developed an online system for EFI members to record CME/CPD activities (with input from colleagues on the Accreditation committee and the Executive Committee). The system is supported by a UK company called CPDMe and will be available via a link on the EFI website. Activities can be recorded under 4 different categories (Educational, Clinical, Professional or Academic) and self-reflective notes and other supporting documentation can be linked to each activity. A visual summary allows at a glance oversight of your CME/CPD activities, and an annual statement can be produced when required. Final preparations for launching are underway, including development of a set of instructions for use and we hope to have this available for all EFI members later this year.

The joint EFI, ASHI, APHIA and ARSHI International Summer School (ISS) was hosted by ARSHI and held on 2nd – 5th December 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Sessions covered a broad array of H&I topics including HLA Genetics and Immunogenetics, Solid Organ Transplantation, Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, HLA and Transfusion, Non-HLA systems in Transplantation and Future Directions for H&I. Thanks to Dave Turner and Luca Vago who were the EFI Faculty Members. The next ISS will be hosted by APHIA. 

EFI Education and Scientific Bursaries
A reminder that applications for Education and Training Bursaries to promote training in the field of H&I by enabling visits to other laboratories, are now being received four times each year. Details of the closing dates, the process and the online application form are available here.

Deborah Sage, Chair of EFI Education Committee