European Diploma in Pain Physiotherapy
The European Pain Federation is organising a virtual Examination for Part 1 of the European Diploma in Pain Physiotherapy (EDPP) in 2023. The virtual examinations will be held using the EFIC Academy Education Platform. All registered participants will be provided access to the platform for the period of the examination. EFIC will provide guidance to first-time users of the platform.
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The purpose of the EDPP is to improve the standard of pain assessment and treatment through the provision of a qualification for physiotherapists that tests their broad understanding of all types of pain and their treatment.
The EDPP will establish a harmonised understanding of pain across Europe through a qualification open to all European physiotherapists as well as physiotherapists from outside of Europe.
The content of the Examination is based upon the European Pain Federation EFIC Pain Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Physiotherapy (‘the Curriculum’) and accompanying reading list.
The EDPP is open to all qualified physiotherapists who see and treat people with pain. Demonstrable possession of a Physiotherapy Degree or Diploma is required, as well as evidence of registration with your national authority or professional body to certify your status as a physiotherapist.
Appropriate clinical experience in pain assessment and treatment is essential. The EDPP is open to physiotherapists qualified to work in a hospital setting, assisting patients with rehabilitative efforts following illness or disease. Diplomas obtained via online or short-term courses are, in general, not acceptable.
- To articulate the scope of practice required by a Physiotherapist including that is necessary for quality patient-centered care.
- To outline the breadth and depth of knowledge, range of skills and professional behaviours required to ensure effective patient-centered pain management.
- To provide consistency of standards and outcomes across different countries in Europe, through the establishment of a benchmark of standard competency.
The Examination is composed of three parts:
- Part 1 – a multiple-choice question (MCQ) examination (90 minutes, 35%)
- Part 2 – a series of practical clinical skills examinations (20 minutes, 30%)
- Part 3 – a viva examination – including case study reports (15 minutes, 35%).
The Examination Committee may decide to hold part 1 and parts 2 and 3 separately or together in one sitting. The Exam Committee may establish a minimum pass mark for completion of part 1 alone.
Please note: As of now and until further notice, part 1 can only be sat virtually whereas parts 2 and 3 can only be sat in-person.
Candidates who complete part 1 must complete part 2 and 3 within 4 years e.g. a candidate who completes part 1 in February 2024 would have until 31st December 2028 inclusive to take part 2 and 3. EFIC shall aim to offer 1 full exam sitting per year, to allow a candidate 3-4 options to take part 2 and 3 during the validity period of their part 1 completion. If EFIC is unable to offer a part 2 and 3 sitting during a calendar year, that year shall not count as part of the 4 years available to the candidate.
The MCQ examination is designed to test the participants’ knowledge of the curriculum.
The MCQ examination will feature 50 questions. Each question will be composed of a stem followed by three-six answer statements. Each answer statement will either be true or false. There will be no negative marking.
The time provided for the MCQ examination will be 90 minutes
The MCQ examination can take one of two forms:
- Paper form – answers will be marked using either a pen or a pencil. Participants should take care to ensure that one choice of either true or false is marked per answer statement.
- Virtual form – the examination will be organised using a virtual examination environment with participants providing their answers remotely from their workspace.
Clinical Skills Examination
Clinical Skills Examination (30%)
This will test the participants’ clinical skills, handling and communication skills.
The candidate will be asked to demonstrate 10 diagnostic or treatment skills each representing a clinical situation.
The Viva is designed to test the participants’ clinical experience, reasoning, attitude and communication skills.
A viva is an oral examination in which the applicant is asked to engage in a dialogue with two examiners. The viva will be based on the case study reports submitted by the applicant.
The examination will be marked with the following weighting for each part:
- MCQ (35%)
- Clinical Skills examination (30%)
- Viva examination including case study reports (35%)
The pass mark for the examination is 65%.
Candidates will be accepted for participation if they meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Demonstrable possession of a Physiotherapy Degree or Diploma
- Evidence of registration with your national authority or professional body to certify your status as a physiotherapist
- Curriculum Vitae detailing at least three years’ clinical work in which patients with pain have been assessed and treated
- Letter of support or endorsement from two referees. For example, a head of department, clinical director or senior colleague. Endorsement letter should state that the candidate is in good standing in their country, and in their department, and is involved in seeing and managing patients with pain on a regular basis.
- Completion of application form online
- Strong working knowledge of English (oral and written)
- Payment of fees ahead of the requested deadline
Candidates will be provided with pens and pencils. No additional materials can be taken into the Examination venues. Electronic devices such as phones, tablets, computers, smart watches or similar are strictly prohibited.
Communication between participants during the Examination is strictly prohibited.
Any participant found to be breaching these rules, or to be jeopardising the fair conduct of the Examination in any other way will be excluded. Any participant found to have passed any part of the Examination through fraudulent means will have their qualification rescinded.
When organised via virtual means (e.g. in the case of virtual MCQ papers), additional steps will be taken to prevent infringements, such as question and answer order randomisation. Nevertheless, the Exam Committee may rescind the qualification of any participant thought to have committed an infringement. Infringements in this context may take any of the following forms:
- Taking copies of examination content for use outside of the sitting
- Conferring with other participants, either in person or via online communication,
- Using an internet browser or other materials to inform their answers
The Examination content, both written and oral, will be in English. Participants are advised that a high-level of spoken and written English is required. Translation or interpretation services are not possible for this Examination.
Any participant wishing to appeal should write to the Examination Committee via the Federation Secretariat within four weeks off receiving their results. Appeals will be responded to by the Examination Committee within six weeks of the initial communication of results.
What do EDPP diplomates think?
Peter Glashouwer: “First, it was wonderful to get lost in the extensive literature and online lectures that the EFIC curriculum offers as part of the exam while studying. Then, during the practical exam, the examiners showed genuine interest in the case I submitted, which I had spent a lot of time developing. The practical exam was therefore a very interesting conversation instead of an exciting test.”
Yiannis Sotiralis: “I strongly believe that every physical therapist should participate in the EFIC examination for the Diploma in Pain Physiotherapy as this will improve our level of understanding for the multidimensional nature of pain, enhance our interventions and push research forward!”
Andrea Celso: “The EDPP exam is an amazing self-directed learning experience, of which benefits are two-fold: for you, as a clinician, broadening and expanding your knowledge, and for your patients, to better manage their pain condition and help them to thrive… Take this road and you will not regret it!”
Fees are excluding VAT and non-refundable. To sit the Examination in full, a registration fee of 275 Euros is required for participation. Where the Examination is available in two separate parts, the following registration fees are applied:
- Part 1: 110 euros
- Part 2: 165 euros
25% discount for #EFICAcademy members
- If you are already a member, you have been sent the discount code via email already. If you have not received it yet, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are not yet a member, feel free to sign up for #EFICAcademy membership while registering for the exam at the same time; a 25% discount (before VAT) will be applied to the exam fee automatically.
Please look out for future updates on whether EFIC are offering financial support for their upcoming examinations.