Aims and Learning Objectives

The Aims


  • The overall aim of the programme is to develop leaders equipped with necessary competencies to advance palliative care across Europe.

In order to reach this aim participants will be enabled to design, conduct and evaluate a project that aims at advancing palliative care in the participant’s organisation and/or region. They will be equipped with specialized knowledge about the characteristics of the processes of team building and leadership and their appropriate use for team effectiveness in the multi professional setting. Participants also learn to apply leadership in the process of building and working in coalitions and alliances in order to implement an advocacy plan and to take responsibility in addressing restrictive policies, regulations and/or practices that hinder palliative care development. Participants critically reflect team roles, organisation structures, their own leadership style and their connectedness in order to work independently and lead their team to achieve strategic objectives. Additionally, participants obtain an overview of different evidence based culturally specific practises in order to obtain a detailed knowledge and understanding of the challenges involved in developing and operating hospices and to understand the future challenges.

The Learning Objectives


  • To critically examine the development and organization of palliative care and policy across different settings and countries.

Participants gather knowledge and skills in order to achieve successful change, or to be able to make advances in complex systems and uncertain situations and to find solutions for complex problems within their organisation and/or region. Participants are equipped with comprehensive and detailed knowledge and specialised skills to critically analyse power, legislation and policies in advocating for palliative care. Participants learn how to lead interdisciplinary palliative care teams, including professionals, volunteers, while cooperating with family carers. They are provided with core skills to examine their populations more critically in order to develop new local services that meet their palliative and end of life needs.


  • 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.

By applying transformational leadership theories in practice and considering and appraising their experiences of leading and being led participants will grow into the leadership role. Targeted and responsible input from management theories is crucial in order to be able to lead a project. Participants learn how to responsibly incorporate the needs of relevant stakeholders into the project’s goals in order to acquire support and achieve successful change. Participants reflect critically on the theories of teamwork and their appropriate use for the team effectiveness in the multi professional setting of palliative care in order to successfully lead palliative care teams.


  • To affect positive change through the development and implementation of policy nationally and internationally.

Participants are empowered to take responsibility in addressing restrictive policies, regulations and/or practices that hinder palliative care development or delivery by developing and implementing advocacy plans. They learn how to better involve people with specialised competences for problem solving in interdisciplinary palliative care teams. They learn how to take responsibility for public education within a local environment in order to develop volunteering and support of palliative care. They receive a deeper insight in other national health care systems and learn from them in order to support own strategies.


  • To demonstrate critical self-reflection upon personal and professional development in order to enhance leadership skills.

Participants learn up to date leadership theories, including details of their benefits and shortfalls. Throughout the whole course participants become familiarised with numerous reflection methods (in peer groups, in pairs, individual, peer consulting, coaching interview, scaling methods etc.) and then have the opportunity to apply them. Numerous opportunities are given for critical self-reflection on personal and professional development within leadership roles in the various stages of teambuilding and teamwork. Through their personal project, each student has the opportunity to put the theoretical knowledge gained into practice and to critically reflect on this.


  • To be able to interact effectively and confidently with a range of professions and agencies both nationally and internationally.

Leading a project means to lead a close collaboration with the project team, consisting of people from different professions and backgrounds. Thus, effective and confident interaction is taught by leading a project and reflecting on individual skills and competencies. Interactional skills are improved through close collaboration with the other participants from different professional backgrounds and different European health care settings. Participants work with a wide range of professions and agencies in building and working in coalitions and alliances in order to implement an advocacy plan. They are taught how to present their findings of advocacy work to large audiences in the form of interviews, press releases or face to face meetings. Participants learn to look for best practice in other European countries and to contact people in other health care settings.


  • To critically evaluate current research and contribute to extending the evidence base in the development and evaluation of palliative care services.

Participants are provided with the essential core skills to appraise research and to develop relevant and feasible research questions. They are equipped with the specialised skills to conduct a comprehensive literature search and to critically appraise the findings in order to inform clinical practice.


  • To enhance capacity and confidence for decision making in unpredictable and complex situations in palliative care.

Leading a project, one of the biggest tasks for the EUPCA participants, means constantly making decisions in unpredictable and complex situations. Skills to foster teamwork and find solutions to challenges faced by professionals and volunteers in complex situations in palliative care in order to know how to lead decision-making processes are practised. They develop the capacity to take responsibility in complex and unpredictable situations addressing restrictive policies, regulations and/or practices that hinder palliative care development or delivery by developing and implementing advocacy plans. Participants are equipped with various advocacy techniques that can be used flexible according to issues under discussion. They learn leadership and conflict management theory and their practical application in practise in order to specialized problem solving in complex situations.