1. European Countries Biologists Association (ECBA)

  • The European Countries Biologists Association (ECBA) was formed in 1975 and brings together the representatives of the national biological associations listed in Annex 1.


2. The aims and objectives of ECBA are:

  1. to represent the professional interests of biologists in European countries
  2. to enhance the professional competence of biologists in European countries
  3. to provide information on professional matters concerning biologists
  4. to promote co-operation between national biological associations throughout Europe
  5. to facilitate the free movement of biologists within European countries
  6. to promote the exchange of those teaching biology in all types of educational establishments
  7. to promote the essential role of biology in the education of the public
  8. to advise the European Union and the public in general on biological issues of public concern.

Need for a European Professional Biologist title

[Ref omitted to ECBA Publication No 9 because now out of date]


Difference between academic and professional titles

3. The difference between a professional and an academic qualification is an important one. An academic title, such as a first degree in biology, signifies that the holder has achieved the required standard in his/her knowledge of biology. On the other hand, a professional qualification signifies that as well as having an academic qualification, the holder has also completed a period of professional experience during which that knowledge has been put into practice in a biologically related job.

4. The difference, therefore, is that an academic qualification is based mainly on the acquisition of knowledge and skills, whereas a professional qualification also signifies experience and competence.




National professional titles in biology

5. EC Directive 89/48 established the requirement for the mutual recognition of national professional titles within the European Union.


6. In principle, if an EC citizen is qualified professionally in one Member State, then he or she has the right to be recognised as a professional in another Member State, and this includes the right to use the relevant professional title and designatory letters available in that other Member State.


7. At present, there are four national professional titles in biology recognised under Directive 89/48/EEC. These are:


Member State Professional title and designatory letters

Ireland Member of the Institute of Biology of Ireland (MIBiolI)

Italy Member of the Ordine Nazionale dei Biologi

Spain Colegiado (of the Colegio Oficial de Biologos)

United Kingdom Chartered Biologist and Member of the Institute of Biology (CBiol MIBiol)


Need for a pan-European professional title in biology

8. Only a few of the European countries have a national professional title in biology and, in practice, there are differences in the entry requirements for the four existing national titles. There is, therefore, a clear need for a single pan-European professional title which has an entry requirement agreed by the national biological associations in ECBA and which can be awarded to suitably qualified biologists in any of the participating countries.


9. The European Professional Biologist title meets this requirement and, eventually, could form the basis of a mutual recognition system embracing other continents.


European Professional Biologists titleholder will receive a certificate proofing their titleship. Example of the certificate

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