Children's Palliative care education and training: developing an education standard framework and audit

Sue Neilson, Duncan Randall, Katrina Mcnamara, Julia Downing

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The need to align the range of guidance and competencies concerning children’s palliative care and develop an education framework have been recommended by a UK All-Party Parliament Group and others. In response to these recommendations the need for a revised children’s palliative care competency framework was recognized. A Children’s Palliative Care Education and Training Action Group, comprising champions in the field, was formed across UK and Ireland in 2019 to take this work forward. Their aim was to agree core principles of practice in order to standardize children’s palliative care education and training.

Over four meetings the Action Group reviewed sources of evidence and guidance including palliative care competency documents and UK and Ireland quality and qualification frameworks. Expected levels of developing knowledge and skills were then agreed and identified competencies mapped to each level. The mapping process led to the development of learning outcomes, local indicative programme content and assessment exemplars.

Four sections depicting developing levels of knowledge and skills were identified: Public Health, Universal, Core, Specialist. Each level has four learning outcomes: Communicating effectively, Working with others in and across various settings, Identifying and managing symptoms, Sustaining self-care and supporting the well-being of others. An audit tool template was developed to facilitate quality assurance of programme delivery. The framework and audit tool repository is on the International Children’s Palliative Care Network website for ease of international access.

The framework has received interest at UK, Ireland and International launches. While there are education programmes in children’s palliative care this is the first international attempt to coordinate education, to address lay carer education and to include public health.
Original languageEnglish
Article number539
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Medical Education
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
CPCET AG members: Julie Bayliss, Tara Kerr-Elliott, Antonia Beringer, Gilda Davis, Hilary Cass, Lizzie Chambers, Abi Warren, Doris Corkin, Liz Crighton, Julia Downing, Helena Dunbar, Sue Dunlop, Nicola Fielding, Nicki Fitzmaurice, Suzie Gannon, Jo Griffiths, Anne Harris, Sara Kirby, Cari Malcolm, Linda Maynard, Katrina McNamara, Renee McCulloch, Maria McGill, Sue Neilson, Jayne Grant, Debbie McGirr, Lis Meates, Tendayi Moyo, Jayne Price, Claire Quinn, Duncan Randall, Rachel Setter, Katie Stevens, Janet Sutherland, Katie Warburton.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Children
  • Paediatric
  • Palliative care
  • End of life care
  • Education
  • Teaching
  • Training


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