PRINCIPLES : IMAGE AND PERCEPTION
Each educational event submitted under the Conference Vetting System for assessment is evaluated by the Compliance Officer in accordance with the principles and standards set out in the MedTech Europe Code of Ethical Business Practice. Image and perception projected to the public when industry wishes to support a particular event are determinant in the assessment decisions under CVS.
Importantly, please note that:
- The rendered decisions are based on the documents and information provided in English to the Compliance Officer via the online submission form. The Compliance Officer does not independently verify whether the information or documents are up-to-date.
- Decisions do not take into account nor supplant national and local laws, regulations or professional and company codes that may impose more stringent requirements upon members or Healthcare organisations or Healthcare Professionals.
- Educational event scientific programme sessions are reviewed, but not the value of their scientific content.
- The sole purpose of the System is to assist corporate members in determining whether or not to sponsor third party educational events.
- The schedule of the scientific programme – The programme in English should present a clear schedule with no gaps during the event scientific sessions (i.e., a minimum of 6 hours for full conference day/ 3 hours for a half day), the faculty for each session must be identified, the session topics must be serious medical subjects related to the therapeutic area of the conference.
- Tip: Upon early submission, a preliminary programme, if sufficiently detailed can be provided in confidentiality to the Compliance Officer via the communication box of the online application form. A complete programme must be provided closer to the date of the event or “Programme at a glance” with all related activities planned during the conference.
- The relevance of the programme – The programme content should directly relate to specialty and/or medical practice of the HCP who will attend the event or have a sufficiently reasonable relationship to justify the attendance of the HCPs.
- Tip: Minor components of the agenda content relating to non-scientific topics, such as leadership skills, practice management, and speaking and presentation skills are acceptable.
- The geographic location – The geographic location should not be the main attraction of the conference. It should be in or near a city or town which is a scientific or business centre conducive to exchange of ideas and the transmission of knowledge.
- Tip: There is no black list of cities, each geographic location is assessed against several criteria. Capitals and major cities are recommended.
- The time of the year – The selected time of the year will be taken into account in determining if a geographic location is appropriate.
- Tip: European and international events taking place in destinations renowned for winter sports during the ski season – December 20 to March 31- are not compliant.
- Tip: European and international events taking place in destinations renowned primarily as seasonal vacation or holiday destination (island resorts, beach resorts, lakes and other geographic locations renowned for tourism) during the summer season – June 15 to September 15 – are not compliant.
- The central location – Taking into account the place of origin of HCP delegates, the geographic location must be centrally located. If the HCP delegates are primarily from one country, the geographic location of the Event should be in that country. If the participants are from multiple countries, then a country affording ease of access for participants should be chosen.
- Tip: In addition, the country selected for the event should be the residence of at least some of the Healthcare participants of the meeting.
- The ease of access – The geographic location should have ease of access for the attendees (for example, close proximity to airports, train stations, highways) and have good ground transportation infrastructure.
- The Event conference venue – The conference venue should be a business or commercial center with providing conference facilities conductive to the exchange of scientific and medical information and the transmission of knowledge. The image of the venue among the public, media and authorities cannot be perceived as solely luxury, touristic/holiday and/or entertainment facility.
- Tip: Under no circumstances are to be considered compliant as event venues:
- Spa and resort hotels (meaning a hotel which is part of a complex offering significant recreational, amusement or sporting facilities).
- Cruise ships, golf clubs (owned or operated by the hotel), or hotels with on-site casinos or private beach.
- Tip: CVS does not look into the financial advantage that a venue rental may present.
- Tip: Exceptions might be considered for venues well adapted to business meetings in an otherwise compliant geographic location where there is a compelling need to use the chosen venue, for example, a lack of alternative venues or genuine security issues. In certain circumstances, hotel accommodation separate from the Third-Party Organised Event venue might be required for compliance (Q&A 6, MedTech Europe Code of Ethical Business Practice).
- Tip: Under no circumstances are to be considered compliant as event venues:
Hospitality covers accommodation, meals/breaks and receptions (opening reception, gala dinner, networking event, get-together, etc). It is important to differentiate hospitality, which is permitted and entertainment, which is not. CVS only looks at the hospitality that is covered by the registration fees.
- The reasonableness of hospitality – Hospitality should be limited to reasonable hotel accommodation and meals, coffee breaks, and a conference dinner or cocktail reception to which all HCP delegates are expected to attend.
- Tip: Entertainment is not allowed except for example for background music during the dinner or cocktail reception. Entertainment includes, but is not limited to, dancing or arrangements where live music is the main attraction, sight-seeing trips, theatre excursions, sporting events and other leisure arrangements.
- The hospitality offered to spouses, partners, family and/or guests – This category of person may not benefit from hospitality sponsored by MedTech Europe members.
- Tip: Any hospitality offered to them must be the subject of a separate charge which may not be paid for nor reimbursed by MedTech Europe funds.
- The appropriateness of accommodation – MedTech Europe members funds to a third-party events cannot be used to pay for or reimburse HCP lodging expenses at top category, luxury or spa or resort hotels.
- Tip: We do not assess a location as per the staring system, rather we look at the amenities offered by the hotel.
- Tip: Offering different category of hotels for HCPs benefiting from industry grants is recommended.
- Tip: Accommodation and/or other services provided to HCP delegates should not cover a period of stay beyond the official duration of the Event.
- Participants registration fees – The registration fees for participants should cover only the scientific programme, authorised activities and hospitality. Information should be provided on all aspects covered by the registration fees for participants.
- Tip: All activities or meals covered by the registration fees must be clarified via the submission form.
- Tip: Give-aways such as tablets or any gift are not compliant.
- The social programme – Any social, sporting and/or leisure activities or other forms of entertainment must be outside of the programme schedule and paid for separately by the HCP delegates. Social programme should not interfere with the overall scientific content of the programme and must be held during times that do not overlap with scientific sessions. Activities including entertainment or live music for example must be subject to a separate fee and this information must be made clear in the programme or website of the event.
- Spouses, partners, family and/or guests’ packages may not be paid for by MedTech Europe Members – This category of person may not register for the event or participate in the scientific programme (unless the spouse is a qualified HCP with a legitimate interest in the programme).
- The website of the event and the program advertising – Advertising support (brochures, website and other materials) should highlight the scientific nature of the programme content. They should not emphasize the geographic location and should not make excessive or inappropriate references to or contain images of entertainment, sporting events or other non-scientific activities.
- Tip: A valid link to the official event website must be provided via the submission form.
- Tip: Material promoting the destination of the event (tourism pictures and information) should be hosted on a separate page, not on the front page of the event.
- Tip: Any touristic/leisure/cultural activities during educational hours should not be available for HCPs benefiting from industry funds.