European Certificate in Essential Palliative Care

The course is an eight-week distance learning course for healthcare professionals new to specialist palliative care services who wish to establish a strong foundation of knowledge on which to build specialist knowledge and skills.

The European Certificate in Essential Palliative Care (ECEPC) is aimed at helping professionals consolidate and develop their palliative care confidence and expertise. The course is also designed to meet the needs of healthcare professionals new to specialist palliative care services who wish to establish a strong foundation of knowledge on which to build specialist knowledge and skills.

There will be an introductory session available online to provide an outline of the course, allow you to meet other candidates and ask any questions you may have.

Candidates will receive the course handbook containing the core text material

Access to the princess Alice Hospice virtual learning zone

Each candidate will be allocated an experienced facilitator in specialist palliative care who will be available on email or telephone. This facilitator will read and provide guidance on your portfolio before final submission if you submit your summative portfolio by the assigned date.

On average, you will need to study around 8-10 hours per week to complete the course.

Assessment involves:

A portfolio based on a patient you cared for with palliative care needs. The 2,500 word portfolio should include reflection on the care provided at a professional level. It should also be supported by literature and demonstrate how the learning will influence future care.


Exam: There will be a one-hour examination, which will include short true / false questions covering the principles of palliative care explored in the Course Handbook.

It will also include four questions on common opioid dose conversions – this is an essential part of the competency assessment process and if you do not answer all these questions correctly it will result in a fail of the whole course regardless of the marks in the overall exam paper.

Practical / verbal (Viva): This is a short verbal assessment exploring the knowledge and skills developed through the course.

If you are unsuccessful in any of the aspects of the assessment you are given one opportunity to resubmit/resit. On successful completion your receive a certificate.

Programme Dates

12th September 2022 to 9th of November 2022

Find out more

Contact Grainne McBride via 028 90781836

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