The Diploma in Human Pharmacology (DHP) is a 2-year training programme and qualification. The DHP programme is intended for medical doctors training to take on the responsibilities of a principal investigator (PI) for human pharmacology studies of investigational medicinal products (IMPs), in particular those involving the first administration to humans. Such studies include those conducted in healthy and patient volunteers, in which the primary end-points are tolerability, pharmacokinetics and evidence of drug effects on biomarkers of efficacy and safety. The training in practical aspects of working as a PI is underpinned by a knowledge of the scientific basis of drug action.
The DHP programme includes supervised, structured workplace training with production of a portfolio of completed work, reflective learning and evidence of appropriate clinical and investigator skills. In addition trainees are required to attend three courses, two of which are run by King’s College, London, and to pass the DHP exams which are administered by FPM.
DHP is recognised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as the most appropriate qualification for accreditation of PIs in the pharmaceutical industry and is taken into account in the MHRA accreditation of study units. DHP is aimed at doctors working in contract research organisations and also NHS doctors working in various specialities such as oncology, rheumatology, experimental medicine and clinical pharmacology, who are involved in early clinical trials of investigational medicines.