The idea of a Common Platform is presented in Article 15 of Directive 2005/36/EC and is variously described as
· ‘A set of criteria of professional qualifications which are suitable for compensating for substantial differences which have been identified between training requirements existing in the various member states for a given profession.’
· It is through a process of comparing the duration and content of the training in at least 2/3 of member states, including all member states that regulate the profession, that the substantial differences are identified.
On DG Internal Markets & Services website [http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/qualifications/docs/future/platforms_en.pdf] it states that the concept is ‘a collection of criteria on professional qualifications able to bridge the substantial differences between training conditions in the member states’.
A description of a three-stage process provides greater clarity of what is envisaged as informing a Common Platform.
Stage 1 requires the following questions to be answered:
- In which member states is the profession regulated? This must be asked of all member states that regulate the profession.
- What level of qualification is required/provided in various member states?
- What are the areas of activities of the profession in the various member states?
- What is the content of training in various member states?
Substantial differences can only be identified if 2/3 of the member states are evaluated. The full descriptions of level of training, areas of activity and training content will allow for comparisons to be made across member states and thereafter substantial differences to be observed e.g. Table 1.
The purpose of the CP is to ‘predefine the qualification criteria able to overcome the differences between the various national training courses so as to obviate the need for any compensatory measure.
Once this has been described, stage 2 is the establishment of the CP and the understanding of ER-WCPT is that it will comprise a description of the basic and important components of the profession that ‘provide a guarantee that the qualification of the professional in question prepares him of her to exercise all the activities covered by profession’, it also must take into consideration the relative importance of each activity in the member states.
At stage 3 i.e. once the CP is established, there is consultation with Member States and within a panel of experts composed from members of competent national authorities. A submission of draft measures to the Committee established by Article 58 of the Directive and thereafter possible adoption.
The proposal to establish a CP has been considered by a ER-WCPT Task Force between 2005-2008. The conclusions of the Task Force and the Executive Committee (EC) are as follows.
· In the current situation, it would not be possible to achieve a CP itself at this stage. Only after creating an inventory of the profession at EU level would it be possible to think about the viability of establishing a CP.
· Ongoing mapping of the PT profession in Europe should be carried on as an accurate inventory is required for the organisation if it acts as a representative voice of the profession in Europe.
The ER-WCPT does not propose to develop an Common Platform for physiotherapy at this time. It will respond, if requested, to enquiries from the European Commission for its report to the European Parliament and the Council by 20 October 2012.
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