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A syllabus for research ethics committees: training needs and resources in different European countries
  1. Ester Cairoli1,
  2. Hugh T Davies1,
  3. Jürgen Helm2,
  4. Georg Hook3,
  5. Petra Knupfer4,
  6. Frank Wells5
  1. 1National Research Ethics Service, London, UK
  2. 2Medical Faculty, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany
  3. 3Stuttgart Ethics Committee, Stuttgart, Germany
  4. 4Ethik-Kommission, Landesärztekammer Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, Germany
  5. 5Ethics Working Party, European Forum for Good Clinical Practice, Brussels, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Ester Cairoli, National Research Ethics Service, 4–8 Maple Street, London W1T 5HD, UK; ester.cairoli{at}


This paper reports a European Forum for Good Clinical Practice workshop held in 2011 to consider a research ethics committee training syllabus, subsequent training needs and resources. The syllabus that was developed was divided into four competencies: committee working; scientific method; ethical analysis and the regulatory framework. Appropriate training needs for each, with possible resources, were discussed. Lack of funding for training was reported as a major problem but affordable alternatives were debated. Strengths and weaknesses of this approach were discussed and the resultant proposal will be disseminated through the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice and the research ethics committees of member states.

  • Research ethics

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  • Competing interests The meeting was an initiative of the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice. The authors declare they have no competing interests.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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