Standardised training curricula for infection control nurses (ICNs) and recognition of the specialty exist in many European countries, but infection control physician (ICP) is not a specialty recognised by the UEMS. To gather information on curricula for ICPs, members of the ESCMID Study Group on Nosocomial Infections received a questionnaire. There is discussion about which 'professions' should be included in an infection control team. Within the 12 countries included, the average full-time equivalents (FTEs) for ICPs and ICNs per 1000 beds were 1.2 and 3.4, respectively. In addition to ICNs and ICPs, an infection control team should also include a data manager, an epidemiologist, secretarial/administrative support, and possibly, surveillance technicians. Overall, the composition of an ideal infection control team was estimated to be 9.3 FTE per 1000 beds. The background of ICPs can be clinical microbiology or infectious diseases. Among the participants, it was predominantly clinical microbiology. The ideal training curriculum for the ICP should include 6 years of postgraduate training. Of these, at least 2 years should be 'clinical training' (e.g., internal medicine) to acquire experience in the management of high-risk patients. Furthermore, training with regard to infection control and hospital epidemiology should be offered as a 'common trunk' for those being trained in clinical microbiology or infectious diseases. Important issues that remain are: implementation/standardisation of training curricula for doctors, recognition of ICP as a separate specialty or sub-specialty of clinical microbiology and/or infectious diseases, validation of on-the-job training facilities in terms of the number of doctors and nurses who can give training and the category of patients/problems present, and mandatory postgraduate education/continuing medical education specific for infection control for doctors and nurses in the field. © 2005 Copyright by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.