History of the european federation for colposcopy

The prinicipal of an European Federation for Colposcopy (EFC), representing all member states of the EU and surrounding countries, was conceived by Joe Jordan (UK) and Renzo Barrasso (France) in Krakow in 1995. At the time of the 1996 meeting of the International Federation for Cervical Pathology & Colposcopy (IFCPC) in Sydney, representatives of various European colposcopy societies met and agreed that a European Federation for Colposcopy should be considered. In 1998 the first all European meeting of Colposcopy was held in Dublin and it was agreed at that time that the EFC should be formed. The EFC was officially founded in 1999 on the occasion of the IFCPC meeting in Buenos Aires. The founder President was Joe Jordan and the Secretary, Renzo Barrasso. The Treasurer was to be appointed by the British Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (BSCCP) because the BSCCP had given a grant of £10,000 to fund the foundation of the EFC: the BSCCP nominated Liz Dollery, the Co-ordinator of BSCCP, to be Treasurer.

The original member countries of EFC who attended the first meeting were UK & Irish Republic, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Greece, Yugoslavia, Czech Republic and Israel.

The EFC held its first official Congress in Rhodes in 2001. The meeting was organised by Emmanuel Diakomanolis (Greece) – 630 delegates representing 24 countries attended. In Rhodes, Joe Jordan was asked to remain as President for a further 3 years and Emmanuel Diakomanolis was elected to the post of President Elect. The post of Secretary was vacant because Renzo Barrasso had resigned for personal reasons. Jean Ritter (France) became the new Secretary but again, for personal reasons, he had to resign in 2000. Liz Dollery acted both as Treasurer and Secretary until Thomas Loning became secretary in 2002.

The next meeting of the EFC was in Paris 2004. This was organised by Christine Bergeron and Jean Leroy. Over 700 delegates from 26 countries took part. At the time of the 2004 meeting, Emmanuel Diakomanolis became President and Santiago Dexeus (Spain) past-President of the IFCPC, became President Elect.

From the outset, the objectives of the EFC were:

  • To promote the best possible standards of colposcopy in Europe.
  • By 2004 to agree minimum standards of training for colposcopy in Europe.
  • In 2004 to work towards the introduction of minimum standards of training throughout Europe.
  • Eventually to introduce a programme to audit the results and treatment of CIN.
  • To support IFCPC in its aims to promote colposcopy worldwide.
  • To organise a European meeting every 3 years.

It was felt essential for EFC to establish links with other organisations with the common objective of reducing deaths from cervical cancer. To that end EFC developed a liaison with:

  • European Cervical Cancer Screening Network
  • WHO International Network on control of gynaecological cancer
  • WHO Collaborating Centre for research in human reproduction.

Through the auspices of the European Cervical Cancer Screening Network, the EU gave the EFC a grant to promote the programme for the introduction of minimum standards of training in colposcopy. This grant ran from December, 2001 to December, 2003. The Chairman of the Training Group was Charles Redman (UK). All member societies agreed on 51 core competencies, which were deemed essential for colposcopists to be considered competent to practice colposcopy.

If the objectives of the EFC are achieved, the women of Europe should be guaranteed that:

  • All those who practice colposcopy should have been trained to an agreed level of competence.
  • Treatment of CIN should be undertaken only by those who are expert in colposcopy.
  • Eventually there should be in place a system of audit which will guarantee the best possible standard of colposcopy and treatment of CIN.