Your Questions Answered – Patient Engagement Trainings

Ingrid Heyne, EUPATI Training Organisation and Alumni Coordinator and Jana Popova, EUPATI Patient Engagement Training Coordinator answer all your questions on EUPATI’s Patient Engagement Trainings.

What types of training does EUPATI provide about patient engagement?

EUPATI is a multi-stakeholder public-private partnership that runs successful programmes for education and training to increase the capacity and capability of patients and patient representatives. These programmes help patients to meaningfully contribute to medicines research and development. We organise Patient Engagement Training for all stakeholders in order to ensure the acceleration of effective patient engagement in Europe.

One of our main initiatives was the Patient Expert Training Programme, which is currently transformed into the Open Classroom online courses. Graduates of the programme will be able to act as EUPATI Patient Experts and be involved in medicines research, regulatory deliberations and other patient engagement initiatives.

Another important training in our portfolio is the EUPATI Fundamentals. It is a great opportunity for industry and academia representatives to receive complex knowledge about the principles of patient engagement and how to establish strong collaboration with patient representatives and patients’ organisations. The main focus of the course remains the basic knowledge about patient involvement with an overall introduction to standards and best practices, and a library of practical exercises.

We also provide opportunities for in-house trainings about patient engagement for academia and the industry. These trainings are specially designed and tailored to the needs of the individual teams and organisations.

Other trainings are the National Trainings. They are organised for patients and patients’ representatives and are provided by the EUPATI National Platforms on a local level and in the national language.

Who are these designed for?

EUPATI Trainings are mainly designed for patients, patient representatives and patient experts. We also provide trainings for the industry and academia – EUPATI Fundamentals training and the In-House Trainings. Everyone who has an interest in patient engagement is welcome to join our education programmes.

How are these unique?  

These trainings are unique in their structure, because they provide in-depth knowledge about patient engagement and its principles, creating an atmosphere of collaboration and shared experiences. Another unique aspect of these trainings is the fact that they are co-designed and co-delivered by patient and industry representatives and therefore reflect patients’ expectations as well as the industry’s perspective.

All that plus the real-life scenarios and practical exercises in patient engagement help to provide in-depth training about patients’ involvement in research and development processes.

How often are they organised?

Currently, EUPATI Fundamentals Training is organised 3 times per year. The next edition will take place on 19th and 20th October 2021. The registration is still open here.

We provide In-House Trainings on patient engagement, based on individual requests. They are flexible, depending on the required timing of the individual teams or organisations.

The online courses in the Open Classroom allow learners to take the courses online on-demand at their own pace and preferred order.

Why is EUPATI providing these types of training?

Trainings on patient engagement are necessary to provide better perspectives about the patients’ needs and to highlight the importance of patient engagement in research and development. These trainings establish a network of support between different stakeholders, exploring new opportunities for mutual cooperation. EUPATI believes that mutual collaboration is a key factor for the success and enhancement of the relationship between patients and professionals.

These trainings increase the knowledge in patient engagement and put the patients’ needs at the centre of the R&D process. They prove the fact that patients could be equal partners at the discussion table and they deserve their voices to be heard.

These trainings are good opportunities to gain more confidence in the field of patient engagement and to know how to develop the relationship between different stakeholders.

What kind of feedback have you received from participants?

We have received positive feedback from the attendants of the EUPATI Fundamentals training and the in-house trainings. The comments that were made most often were about the interaction whether with the trainers or the other participants. Most of the participants stay in touch with each other beyond the training and the possibility to ask questions to long-term experienced trainers, the real-life examples and the fact that the content helped them to realise the importance of patient engagement and how to implement it are the key positive aspects to the training. After the training participants feel more comfortable when working with patients’ representatives.

What do you need to know before attending a training course?

There are no special preliminary requirements if you want to attend the training course. The EUPATI Fundamentals training is organised in 2 days – from 10:00 to 16:00 CET each day. It requires active participation in those 2 days.

The timing of the In-House Trainings depends on the individual requirements of the team or the organisation. Previous experience in the field of patient engagement is not required. The most important thing is to be interested in the topic and the wish/need to increase your knowledge.

These trainings provide interactive sessions, where participants are able to ask their questions and to discuss the most important aspects of patient engagement with the trainers.

What are the main objectives of these trainings?

  • Improve the understanding of participants about the place and importance of working with patients as partners in research and early development.
  • Critically assess the ethical perspective of work between patient groups and other stakeholders, especially industry and academia.
  • Develop the skills of participants to work with patients and patient groups, with particular regard to the work in research consortia and with the industry.
  • Improve the understanding of the differences between patient engagement and patient involvement, providing patients’ and industry’s perspectives.
  • Inform participants about certain good practices and practical examples in patient engagement and early development.
  • Concrete examples of patient engagement in R&D with a focus on early development.

What are the main expected learning outcomes? Or what will you learn?

Providing a strong foundation for successful partnership with patients and patient organisations. The focus of the course remains basic knowledge about patient involvement with an overall introduction to basic principles of patient engagement, a roadmap about patient involvement, quality criteria and different activities in the field.

Participants are expected to increase their knowledge about the implementation of patient engagement and how to work with patients and patient representatives in the most efficient way.

How does EUPATI plan to develop these training courses further?

We are thinking about having the EUPATI Fundamentals for the USA and Canada with more focus on FDA and adapted to their time zones. We are also looking at the possibility to have this training more tailored for the medical device industry.

And finally, we are currently developing follow-up modules to the Fundamentals training which will go deeper into some of the topics raised in the Fundamentals programme and which are not covered in the Fundamentals.  The first module, the EUPATI Essentials training should be ready by the end of this year.

What would you like to say to potential participants?

Whether you have been working in patient engagement only recently or for years, we believe that you will benefit from this training which is a perfect combination of theoretical and practical knowledge.  In addition, it is at the same time a great opportunity to meet different people with diverse backgrounds and to exchange ideas and concepts about patient engagement – some of the participants also decided to stay in contact after the training to further share their professional experience.

Also, the real-life scenarios help to understand the learning outcomes and clarify concepts that are important in Patient Engagement. At any moment you can ask your questions to the experienced trainers (some of them have more than 10 years of experience in Patient Engagement) so at the end of the day, you will really know more about how to engage with patients in your work whatever your area of expertise is.



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