European Certificate in Essential Palliative Care

This eight week distance learning multi-professional programme is aimed at those working in clinical practice, who are new to specialist palliative care or who regularly look after people who have palliative care needs.

This programme is provided by Princess Alice Hospice in Esher, however Northern Ireland Hospice is one of the sites where candidates can choose to sit the Assessment day.

Programme Dates

Further dates to be confirmed


The course is divided into five sections, each covering different aspects of essential palliative care:

  • caring for patients with pain
  • palliative care and the gastroinstestinal system
  • breaking bad news and ethical issues
  • clinical emergencies in palliative care and palliative care in non-malignant disease
  • last 48hrs of life: practical issues and bereavement.

Entry Requirements

Participants on this course must be in possession of a relevant professional healthcare qualification, and be working in a suitable practice setting, eg, an acute hospital, nursing home or community team.  All participants should have direct contact with patients requiring a palliative approach to care.

Here's what past candidates thought of the course:

"Really enjoyed the course.  Feel that a shorter more compact version of the course manual would be useful for undergraduate medical students".


"Excellent.  I have greatly benefited from having done this course".


"Examiners made me feel totally at ease and comfortable".


"Excellent course, reading material".


"Has really helped to give me confidence in dealing with palliative care in the hospital setting, thank you".


For further information about the course or to download an application form, please visit the Princess Alice Hospice website.