The cornerstone of practice for practitioners in infectious diseases, microbiology and virology is the ability to diagnose and manage important clinical syndromes where infection is in the differential diagnosis. Practitioners must hold a detailed knowledge (covering the epidemiology, clinical presentation, relevant investigations and management and prognosis) of both community-acquired and healthcare-associated infections. This knowledge must cover infections in all body compartments and those causing systemic infections (such as blood-borne viruses). This must incorporate patients presenting from the community, and infections which develop among those already undergoing healthcare treatment for other conditions. In this latter group, infections among surgical patients and those colonised and infected with multi-drug-resistant organisms must be able to be managed with confidence. Similarly, common clinical infection syndromes presenting among patients returning from travel abroad must be able to be recognised, investigated appropriately and treated promptly. Practitioners must also be able to manage infections among special populations, including itinerant populations, those who may misuse drugs or alcohol, those at the extremes of age or who are pregnant and immunocompromised individuals. Specific to immunocompromised individuals, this should encompass both those with primary and with secondary immunocompromise.