Frequently asked questions



Aims and Target Group

What are the aims of the European Palliative Care Academy?
The overall aim of the European Palliative Care Academy is to enhance Palliative Care in Europe by contributing to closing the gap in further education. The aim of the course is to support future leaders to develop the necessary skills, abilities and expertise to advance palliative care across Europe and to address future challenges in the field. For more Information on the aims of the course, please click here.
Who can apply?
For a detailed description of the criteria please see Requirements.

Course Contents and Certificate

What kind of final certificate will I receive upon completion of the course? Will the course be accredited?
At the moment, course participants who complete the course and assessments successfully will receive a certificate of attendance issued jointly by the four academic centres and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The Leadership course of the European Palliative Care Academy fulfils the FIBAA quality requirements for certified continuing education courses and has been certified by the Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA). It meets the demands of level 7 of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF), has a modular structure and assigned ECTS points. For more Information on the FIBAA accreditation, please click here. Furthermore, every academic centre will apply to the professional body relevant for palliative care for recognition of its course week. Thus, we will hopefully be able to hand out certificates at the end of each course week stating the number of credit points according to the “Continuous Professional Development” system (CPD).
How is the course structured? What are the contents of the course?
The curriculum consists of six interdisciplinary modules: Personal Development; Project Management; Teamwork; Research Methods; Local Best Practice and Advocacy. In addition to these modules that are taught face-to-face, the course participants will do an observational week at a European palliative care institution of their choice and work on a personal project.   The four course weeks are as follows: September 2019: Beginning of the course: 1st Week, Cologne (Germany) February 2020: 2nd Week, London (United Kingdom) September 2020: 3rd Week, Gdansk (Poland) June 2021: 4th Week, Brasov (Romania). For the exact dates please see our timeline.
What are the learning objectives?
  • To critically examine the development and organization of palliative care and policy across different settings and countries.
  • To critically appraise the principles of service organisation and management theory and thereby contribute positively to the development and delivery of high quality palliative care.
  • To affect positive change through the development and implementation of policy nationally and internationally.
  • To demonstrate critical self-reflection upon personal and professional development in order to enhance leadership skills.
  • To be able to interact effectively and confidently with a range of professions and agencies both nationally and internationally.
  • To critically evaluate current research and contribute to extending the evidence base in the development and evaluation of palliative care services.
  • To enhance capacity and confidence for decision making in unpredictable and complex situations in palliative care.
For more information on the learning objectives, click here.

Personal Project

Where should the project be implemented?
Ideally, the project will be implemented in the country of residence of the applicant. In exceptional cases, the project can be implemented in a different country under the following conditions:
  • The applicant has strong ties to the place where the project is going to be implemented (i.e. home country, former work place).
  • The project implementation at a place where he/she is not resident is feasible (for example sufficient time for implementation can be provided).
  • The resources for project implementation are secured.
What is meant by “realisation of a personal project”?
As part of the course participants will be requested to work on a personal project in the field of palliative and hospice care. They will be responsible for the development of the concept of the project and are expected to implement the first practical steps during the course of the European Palliative Care Academy. The project should be new, feasible and affect positive change in the palliative care institution and/or the field of palliative care in the home region of the participant. It can be in any area of palliative care (i.e. service development, organizational development, advocacy, education, research). For more information and examples of personal projects from the 2015-17 course, click here.
Are there restrictions in the choice of topics?
The projects have to be in harmony with the ethics and philosophy of palliative care and the hospice movement.
How concrete and advanced should the project idea be for the application?
The project idea needs to be presented with the application and convince the selection committee that the applicant is the right person to implement the project. Questions on your project that you will be asked in the application include the following:
  • The project title plus short description incl. steps/activities and timeframe
  • Vision or anticipation of expected outcome and benefits
  • Who is involved in the project? Who is supporting the project?
  • What do you think can realistically be achieved? Where do you expect challenges?
  • Have you secured the resources needed in the project (personal time, human resources, financial)?
Is there a guideline for planning the project?
The SMART-Criteria provide an orientation by supporting the development of feasible goals within your project. The SMART-Criteria are:
  • Specific: the goal of the project has to be well defined, in order that a mutual understanding by everyone that has a basic knowledge of the project is reached.
  • Measureable: the formulation of the goal includes the criteria that will be measured to evaluate the project’s success.
  • Accepted: the project leader is able to run the project, in terms of power, finance, content and ethical issues.
  • Realistic: based on the current knowledge the project is manageable and can be conducted successfully.
  • Time-bound: the project goal should be grounded with a time frame.
Example: The project’s aim is to set up the first nationwide palliative care hotline by 1st January 2021. The hotline will provide information and counselling support to individuals with life-limiting or terminal illnesses. It should be free of charge. Therefore, sufficient funding will have to be gained. A public relation’s concept will be created, the phone number will be known by spreading it through the media (number of media response/articles). The team members will be trained. The facilities will be secured.

Observation Week

What do I need to consider when selecting the institution for observation?
The institution you select should be a best practice institution in the field of your personal project. Apart from this, you are free to choose any suitable institution.
Are there any recommendations for planning the observation week?
You are responsible for organising the observation week. Support can be provided by the Steering Committee of the European Palliative Care Academy. It is highly recommended to have an alternative institution in mind, in case your first choice cannot be realised. At the beginning of the course, you will be asked to prepare a “letter of intent”, in which you have to indicate why you chose this institution and what you expect to learn there. After the observation week, you have to write a report on the lessons you have learned and on the advancement of your project through the observation week.
Do I have to submit a formal statement from the receiving institution prior to the observation week?
Yes, you have to hand in a “letter of acceptance” from your receiving institution, in which your aims for the observation week are recognised and the support of a tutor at the institution is promised.
When do I need to realise the observation week?
The observation week has to be realised after the first course week and no later than December 2020.

Application and Selection Procedure

Where can I find the application form?
You find all the necessary information including the application form here. Applications need to be written in English and will be accepted via e-mail ( only. Applications sent by post or in another language cannot be considered.
What data and documents are needed for the application?
  • You need to provide the following data: general information, professional experience, educational background, english language proficiency, motivation, project idea, information about your institution of observation
  • You need to add the following documents: curriculum vitae, certificates on educational background, statement of intent from your employer and letter of reference from your employer (additionaly you can also add a letter of reference from a local resource person/ mentor), English proficiency certificate of at least CEFR level B2 or equivalent.
Who will select the course participants?
The Steering Committee of the European Palliative Care Academy will select the course participants in a two-step procedure. The Steering Committee consists of representatives from the Robert Bosch Stiftung/ Germany, the University Hospital of Cologne/ Germany, Nicolaus Copernicus University Toruń/ Poland, Hospice Casa Sperantei, Brasov/ Romania and King’s College London/ United Kingdom. There will be up to 24 participants on the course.
When will interviews take place and with whom?
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by phone or via skype at some point in July, 2019. Please make sure that you have access to your e-mail account in July so that the exact interview date can be agreed with you.
When do I get the final notification?
Final notifications will be sent out to applicants by the end of July 2019.
Is a language certificate required?
No. However, the course language is English so excellent skills in reading, writing and speaking English are a course requirement. Participants do not require a language certificate but candidates who are shortlisted will be interviewed by phone or via skype. At this point it shall be ascertained whether the language is of a suitable standard.

Costs & Finances

How can I apply for a scholarship or travel grant?
Scholarships and travel grants covering participants' costs (including course fees) are available on request, notably for participants from Eastern European countries. In the application form you are asked to specify the costs you can cover yourself as well as the amount you seek to be subsidised. All decisions concerning applications for a scholarship and / or travel grant will be made on a case-by-case basis. We also strongly encourage participants to actively seek alternative funding possibilities, for example through their employer or a sponsor. Some possible examples can be found here.
Who is funding the European Palliative Care Academy?
The European Palliative Care Academy is funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, a major German charitable foundation associated with a private company. For further information please see
Which costs am I expected to cover?
Participants will be expected to cover their own travel, accommodation and personal expenses as well as the course fee. The course fee is 2000€ for low income European countries, 3000€ for high income European countries and 6000€ for non-European countries. A limited number of grants for subsidising course fee and travel costs are available on request, especially for participants from European lower income countries.
What is the course fee?
The Robert Bosch Stiftung has provided funding for the development and running of the program which makes it possible to provide a highly subsidised course. However, participants are expected to pay a course fee as a contribution towards teaching staff, administration costs and teaching materials.The course fee is 2000€ for low income European countries, 3000€ for high income European countries and 6000€ for non-European countries.

Further Questions

Would I need to give up my work?
No, you do not need to give up your work to attend to the leadership course. However you will need to attend four 5-day long taught modules and an observational week- this will of course require permission from your employer. You also need to commit sufficient time to pre-modular work and any course work as is required.
Who is the contact person for any issues?
Coordinating Office, University Hospital of Cologne, Centre for Palliative Medicine, Mr. Gerrit Frerich, 50924 Cologne, Germany. Phone: +49/ 221/ 478-972 51   Fax: +49/ 221/ 478-875 97