To develop internationally harmonised standards for programmes of training in intensive care medicine (ICM).
Standards were developed by using consensus techniques. A nine-member nominal group of European intensive care experts developed a preliminary set of standards. These were revised and refined through a modified Delphi process involving 28 European national coordinators representing national training organisations using a combination of moderated discussion meetings, email, and a Web-based tool for determining the level of agreement with each proposed standard, and whether the standard could be achieved in the respondent's country.
The nominal group developed an initial set of 52 possible standards which underwent four iterations to achieve maximal consensus. All national coordinators approved a final set of 29 standards in four domains: training centres, training programmes, selection of trainees, and trainers' profiles. Only three standards were considered immediately achievable by all countries, demonstrating a willingness to aspire to quality rather than merely setting a minimum level. Nine proposed standards which did not achieve full consensus were identified as potential candidates for future review.
This preliminary set of clearly defined and agreed standards provides a transparent framework for assuring the quality of training programmes, and a foundation for international harmonisation and quality improvement of training in ICM.
2011. Vol. 37, no 3, 385-393 p.