Postgraduate Professional Education Regulations “Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh“
Clinical toxicology covers all aspects of medical care in acute and chronic poisoning. In the sense of these Postgraduate Professional Education Regulations, clinical toxicology deals with the realisation, quality assurance, assessment, interpretation and expert opinion of qualitative and quantitative analyses of toxicologically relevant substances in biological and non-biological materials in cases of acute or chronic intoxications. Pharmaco/toxicokinetic calculations, estimation of prognosis on the course of intoxication and advising on therapy options can also be part of it. Such scientific expertise plays an important role regarding medical and/or legal problems. That is why the GTFCh as a professional association offers adequate postgraduate professional education.
The focus of this postgraduate professional education is on practical work in corresponding institutions. The postgraduate professional education period serves to deepen professional experience in a structured form, especially the passing on, acquisition and proof of thorough knowledge, experience and skills in clinical toxicology including drawing up of written and oral opinion. Details are listed in the postgraduate professional education catalogue (appendix 1).
Institutions for postgraduate professional education can be clinical-toxicological institutions of respective university institutes or equivalent institutions directed by a “Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh”. All these institutions are published on the GTFCh website. The applicant has to choose a Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh as mentor who will be responsible for supervising the applicant during the period of postgraduate professional education. The mentor should preferably work in the same institution as the applicant. If practical training contents cannot be delivered, they can preferably be obtained by visits in other educational institutions.
Prior to the start of the postgraduate education, applicants are recommended to seek advice from the vice-president in charge of the training, or from the chair of the certification commission regarding their choice of mentor and institution.
2. Requirements for obtaining the professional title
The certification as “Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh“ is awarded by the GTFCh upon request provided that following conditions are fulfilled:
2.1 Membership of the GTFCh
2.2 Proof of university studies in natural sciences or medicine and respective degree
2.3 Proof of at least five years of practical experience after obtaining the university degree in an educational institution verified by a superior. For applicants working part time, the period of education may have to be extended. Educational periods in other related postgraduate professional education areas can be accredited up to two and a half years. Periods of graduation in an educational institution can be accredited up to 50% (but not more than two years), if the dissertation subject is related to the field of our postgraduate education programme.
Times of documented clinical-toxicological service outside of normal working hours can be accredited as practical experience.
2.4 Proof of further education in the related field by certificates regarding the status of postgraduate education and further target agreements annually issued and signed by the applicant and his mentor, starting at the beginning of mentorship.
2.5 Proof of in-depth knowledge, experience and skills in the various fields of activity of the postgraduate professional education catalogue (appendix 1)
2.6 Proof of independent planning and processing of qualitative and quantitative clinical-toxicological analyses with report on findings and/or appraisal as well as advising in at least 250 clinical-toxicological cases, of which at least 100 must have been performed outside regular working hours and initially submitted independently by the candidate. In these cases, not only immunoassays must be used.
2.7 Proof of skills in carrying out scientific work by presentation of at least ten independent scientific publications including case reports in acknowledged professional journals, bulletins or proceedings of relevant scientific associations (whereof at least six publications as first author or corresponding author). Upon submission of at least five complex independent and anonymised clinical-toxicological expert reports, this number may be reduced to five publications (whereof four as first author or corresponding author)
2.8 Successful passing of a final oral exam according to examination regulations (appendix 3) in all areas of our postgraduate professional education catalogue (appendix 1).
2.9 Payment of processing fee
Application is to be informally directed to the president of the GTFCh. Submission should exclusively be effected in form of a pdf-file. Originals of the documents submitted must be on the applicant's hand and may be requested as needed by the certification commission. The following documents must be presented:
3.1 Curriculum vitae
3.2 Certificate of completed university studies in natural sciences or medicine
3.3 Certificate of graduation
3.4 Written confirmation of at least five years of practical work by a superior. For part-time work, the differences between that and full-time work must be explained.
3.5 Certificates on the subject-related progress of postgraduate professional education signed by the applicant and his mentor (at least one certificate per year, starting at the beginning of mentorship)
3.6 Certificates according to appendix 1 of the postgraduate professional education regulations
3.7 Written confirmation of superior or mentor on the independent planning and processing of qualitative and quantitative clinical-toxicological analyses with reports on findings and/or appraisal as well as advising in at least 250 clinical-toxicological cases, of which at least 100 must have been performed outside regular working hours. In case of doubt documentation of the investigations must be presented.
3.8 Ten independent scientific publications in acknowledged journals in the field of clinical-toxicological chemistry or in related fields (whereof at least six publications as first author or corresponding author). Alternatively, at least five independent scientific publications (whereof four publications as first author or corresponding author), if at least five complex, independent and anonymised expert reports according to point 2.7 are submitted.
3.9 Written statement as follows: „I, ....., commit myself to observe the GTFCh Code of Ethics and to immediately inform the executive committee of the GTFCh of any professional changes in the case that the new field of activity is no longer related to clinical toxicology. I am aware of the fact that upon forfeiture of the prerequisites the approval as “Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh“ may be withdrawn, likewise upon insufficient continuing education according to the GTFCh continuing education regulations“.
4. Issue of certification
4.1 Procedures of certification as “Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh“ are regulated by the certification commission's code of procedure (appendix 2)
4.2 After the certification commission's examination of the candidate's application according to the effective postgraduate professional education regulations, the president of the GTFCh will be informed of the result. The executive committee decides on admission to the examination and at the same time on the issue of certification in general.
4.3 In well substantiated exceptions, the executive committee may admit the applicant for examination, even if not all of the preliminaries are fulfilled.
4.4 An examination fee must be paid
4.5 After passing the exam, the chairman of the certification commission will inform the GTFCh president of the result. A certificate of certification, signed by the GTFCh president and the chairman of the certification commission will be issued. The professional title may be carried only after the president's written confirmation.
4.6 Should the applicant not be accepted for examination or fails to pass, a written appeal to the president may be filed within three months. The executive committee decides on further procedures. Legal recourse is excluded.
4.7 Names of persons admitted as “Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh“ are published on the GTFCh website.
5. Commitment to continuing education
The certification as “Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh“ makes continuing education in the field of clinical toxicology obligatory.
6. Retraction of certification
The executive committee may retract certification should the prerequisites for obtaining the professional title no longer be met, or were never met in the first place.
7. Transitional regulations
Procedures the opening of which have been applied for before 1st May 2015 may be dealt with according to the guidelines of 20th April 2007 upon request.
8. Legal validity of Postgraduate Professional Education Regulations
The version at hand was passed by the executive committee on 12th March 2015 and confirmed by the general assembly on 17th April 2015.