Registration as a European Certified Pharmacologist

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Registration for European Certified Pharmacologist

The Dutch Pharmacological Society is the organization of professional (basic) pharmacologists in The Netherlands. The Dutch Pharmacological Society organizes scientific activities for its members and aims to advance the pharmacological profession and its application in the biomedical field. The Dutch Pharmacological Society is internationally associated with the Federation of European Pharmacological Societies (EPHAR) and has harmonized their program for training and certification as a pharmacologist to comply with the EPHAR accreditation rules for European Certified Pharmacologist (EuCP).

EPHAR has defined a number of qualifications to which scientists should comply to obtain their accreditation as a EuCP. Within the EPHAR Guidelines for Certification, the national societies such as the DPS for the Netherlands, are responsible for the primary certification procedure for the EuCP. For this a National Certification Board is the body to detail requirements for certification and a process for application and evaluation of the DPS program in line with the EPHAR Guidelines (

To that end, the DPS has installed a National Certification Board (NCB) for the EuCP to finetune the program and develop and check the process of certification as EuCP in the Netherlands. The accreditation program comprises elements of scientific knowledge and practical skills. The conditions for accreditation as a certified, professional pharmacologist including the procedure for application, examination and evaluation are described in this document.

More information about the role of the Dutch Pharmacological Society and the registration committee can be found here.

To contact CTB (commissie toetsing en beoordeling) please write to the following address:

Below you’ll find the conditions for: Registration for European Certified Pharmacologist

Profile of a EuCP

A EuCP is an expert with appropriate scientific and theoretical knowledge and practical skills in pharmacological experimentation and evaluation regarding pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of medicinal compounds. This implies that EuCP will be able to design/criticize experiments on pharmacokinetic, drug-target-interaction- and pharmacodynamic principles to allow proper evaluation of medicinal compounds. The area of expertise of a EuCP ranges from molecular receptor pharmacology in cell-lines, to pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in laboratory animals and ultimately in humans. The EuCP is capable to apply state of the art technology such as “pharmacogenomics”, “functional genomics” and “proteomics” in combination with more classical experimental techniques in cell systems, isolated organs or in vivo models.

This allows the EuCP to participate in a multidisciplinary environment with other professional biomedical investigators in projects to assess, evaluate and document the mode of action of potential medicinal compounds, as well to play a subject matter expert role in the (pre)clinical development of new drugs and those on the market. Examples of positions where the EuCP can be employed include laboratories for drug discovery and development, institutes for (academic) education, evaluation and documentation of drug action in (academic) hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and government institutes.

Basis for professional training and accreditation as EuCP

The profession of pharmacologist is subject to continuous changes, both internally (as a discipline) and externally (the environment in which pharmacology plays a role). This is caused by the increased multidisciplinarity in drug research regarding discovery as well as development processes (process instead of discipline oriented). In addition, the use of a wide variety of technologies derived from other fields such as molecular biology and cellular biology (pharmacogenomics, functional genomics, proteomics) together with the possibilities to apply new imaging technologies and bioinformatics are at the basis of perpetual alterations.

The current training program for accreditation as EuCP has been approved in consultation between the national societies of pharmacology in EPHAR and gives recognition to the multidisciplinarity of the drug discovery and -development field. This implies that the program gives ways to train general pharmacologists as well as more specialized pharmacologists, with the prerequisite that all have a common understanding of and the ability to apply general principles in pharmacology which distinguishes his/her role and focus from other experts in the life sciences field. In addition, the program acknowledges the different specializations in the Dutch pharmacological institutes at the universities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Rotterdam and Utrecht. More information about the courses can be found here.

The curriculum consists of knowledge and skills domains in modules that can be attended as courses and ‘on-the-job training’ on an individual basis. These courses can be received at the participating universities, graduate schools, and at e.g. BioSB (Bioinformatics and Systems Biology community in NL), the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences (DTL). On-the-job training is not limited to PhD training or post-doc positions at universities but can also be obtained in positions at pharmaceutical companies and governmental institutes.

Roadmap to qualify as a EuCP

Dutch Pharmacological Society membership is mandatory for obtaining the EuCP qualification via the DPS.

  1. Juniors program:

Via a PhD-student program at one of the Dutch universities under supervision of a DPS-certified promotor and/or co-promotor, supplemented with a program in a post-doc phase in total for a minimum of five years. Dependent on career path and opportunities of the candidate, attention should be given to a split in training for skills and competences in the PhD phase and in a post-doc position at a university, or on-the-job training elsewhere to fulfill the EuCP training requirement as referred to further in this document.

To contact CTB (commissie toetsing en beoordeling) please write to the following address:

  1. Seniors CV:

a. For those having a DPS Pharmacologist accreditation and working in an environment where they build on their pharmacologists’ skills, can register as EuCP. This implies they should present an update of proof of their continued professional practice in a ‘Portfolio’.

b. Those lacking the accreditation as DSP Pharmacologist, should present a complete Portfolio with documented proof of skills and competences obtained in pharmacology that satisfy the EuCP criteria.

To contact CTB (commissie toetsing en beoordeling) please write to the following address:


N.B.: All documents and information mentioned can be found here and downloaded from the DPS website (; the latest versions are applicable. Below you’ll find the documents for the registration for the Juniors or Seniors Program.


More information on the criteria, accreditation and renewal can be found here.


The application form for the registration for the EuCP Juniors Program can be found here.

The application form for the registration for the EuCP Seniors Program can be found here.