Health Record Professionals in Denmark, Education and Training 2004

Darley Petersen

Admission Requirements

Commercial School--2 years
Languages (Danish and English)
Social studies

Entitles the person to apply for practice school in hospitals or at GP's.
Practice schools start every year in August and last 2 years.

In total the Educational Program for Danish Health Record Professionals runs over 4 years.

During Practice

Supervision of all students as a whole in each county will be made by one health information manager from students' educational department. Through this department, the students have been chosen qualified for entering the practical period of the education. In each department, the student refers to one person, who is supporting the students on a daily basis. The educational program has been set up in cooperation between the students' educational department and the leading secretary in each department. During the practical period of 2 years, each student must work obligatory in departments of surgery, medicine, and ambulatory; from there the student's personal wishes can be taken into consideration.

Theoretical training throughout this period takes place in commercial schools over five periods, in total 18 weeks. These semesters include:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Administration in National Health Services
  • Management
  • Administrative law

The remaining time of practice school is dedicated.

Training in Different Departments in Hospitals and/or GP's Practices

  • Health Record Professional functions
  • Medical records, design, use of medical terminology
  • IT
  • Administrative means
  • Communication
  • Management

The practice school ends after four years in a project proving technical knowledge

After that, the Health Record Professional is entitled to jobs within the primary health sector, which in Denmark means in Health Centres with GP's in companionship, as well as in hospitals.

Postgraduate Education and Certificates

To specialise the Health Record Professionals within individual areas, there are a great number of offers for postgraduate education given either as internal or external courses or seminars. The courses are mostly offered to the staff pointing at each group of professionals, but interdisciplinary courses are set up.

Before implementation of new technology, each hospital offers education within the area, i.e., booking systems, economic systems etc. These courses are free and take place during working time.

The department of postgraduate education in each university hospital covers one or several counties, and a catalogue is published every half year and distributed to the staff.

Postgraduate education is formed as seminars lasting from half a day to a full weekend or as a full week or as weekly lessons over several months. Almost all courses are paid by the delegate's employer, but unfortunately the economic resources available make it impossible to cover the amount of applications. Courses take place within working time as well as after working time, in lecture rooms in hospitals or in conference centres.

Also postgraduate education is offered by individual professional organisations. These courses are basically for members only, but are open for the professionals in the health sector as a whole, and naturally these courses are very specific goal-directed to the members of the organization.

Certificates are given after these courses, and generally they are used as documentation in job applications or as documentation for a higher salary.


Qualifications to become a Leading Secretary in Denmark generally include the basic and postgraduate education and a 3-year high school diploma. Before starting high school, time and money must be granted from the hospital. A diploma from high school leads directly to a higher salary.

Possibilities for Employment

During the last few years, there has been a lack of Health Record Professionals in Denmark. Consequently, other criteria have been used to eliminate the problem, and persons with commercial skills from parallel professions have been offered postgraduate education to eliminate unemployment in hospitals. In Denmark, we therefore nowadays see students ranging from 25 to 50 years of age.

Source: 2004 IFHRO Congress & AHIMA Convention Proceedings, October 2004