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EAPC Reference Groups


One of the strategic goals of the EAPC is to have an open and creative forum for the development of all aspects of palliative care. The EAPC Board of Directors recognises that within the discipline of palliative care, members have specific areas of interest.  Some of these areas have been subjected to scrutiny at a European level through the work of EAPC task forces.  These groups, formed by interested members from a range of disciplines and different countries have worked collaboratively to produce a variety of documents on behalf of the EAPC. Examples of this work include: Primary care, mapping and spiritual care.  Other groups have focused specifically on a single discipline or area such as: nursing, medical education, children’s palliative care and social work.  All have worked to deliver on their focused, time limited projects. Some of the task forces have evolved and broadened their work to deliver on multiple projects that include a range of activities beyond the scope of a Task force.  In order to enable this work to develop further the board of directors of the EAPC have recently agreed to the establishment of EAPC Reference Groups. Reference groups are a new structure within the EAPC. This document sets out to describe the role, process for application, membership requirements and supports available for an EAPC reference Group (EAPCRG).  

Reference groups:

Prior to being established as an EAPC reference group (EAPCRG), the EAPC board of directors requires that potential reference groups have clearly demonstrated their ability to deliver on projects with demonstrable outputs. Examples would include: White Papers, Policy Documents or Tools for practice and research.

The role of an EAPC reference group:

The Board of Directors of the EAPC is keen to ensure that reference groups are not only representative of a specific interest or sub-specialty but are focused on deliverable outcomes that fit with the overall strategic direction of the EAPC. Reference groups are an integral part of the structures of the EAPC and will be accountable to the Board of Directors. EAPCRG must report to the Board of Directors at least twice a year.  The Board must approve publications and outputs of the reference group before these are disseminated publicly.

The process of applying to become an EAPC reference group:

The EAPC Board of Directors must approve all EAPC reference group applications. Interested parties must complete the application form (see below).

EAPCRG Membership:

Membership of a reference group should acknowledge the diversity of the EAPC membership including geographical representation, professional representation and gender balance.

There must be a clear leadership/core team of members who will be responsible for leading and guiding the work of the reference group. The group must set out annually their work plans with clear, objective deliverables and timelines.

Membership of the Reference group may be through:

  1. Application by an interested person or association or 
  2. By invitation of the core group/committee or 
  3. By suggestion/recommendation of the Board

All reference groups should have representation from at least one member of the current EAPC Board of Directors to act as a liaison/link between the reference group and the board. The link will be an active member of the EAPCRG and will be nominated by the Board.

The EAPC can offer the following support: 

  1. Provide dedicated space on the EAPC website and assist with the development of web pages
  2. Provide support with surveys of members
  3. Where possible, provide meeting rooms for EAPCRG meetings (open or closed) at EAPC events
  4. Support applications for funding/endorsement
  5. Facilitate collaboration and communication with other EAPC/European groups

The following basic rules apply:

  1. The objectives of the EAPCRG must be clearly stated
  2. These objectives must reflect the values and objectives of the EAPC.
  3. There must be a chair and co-chair and at least 5 members where possible from different countries of a core group who will provide leadership and direction to the EAPCRG.  All must be named on the application form.  Succession planning is required and in order to ensure the sustainability and innovation of the reference group, membership of the core group should be for four years with an option to serve two terms up to a maximum period of eight years.  To ensure continuity at least half of the core group should stand down after four years. All changes to the core group should be notified to the Board. 
  4. At least two-thirds of the reference group members must be members of the EAPC
  5. In order to form closer working relationships, reference groups may be formed with other European organisations, associations and societies with shared interests.  Where this is the basis of a reference group both the EAPC and the other organisation may be represented by taking on the role of co-chair of the group.
  6. A member of the EAPC Board of Directors will be designated as an official link to the group
  7. As part of the application process for an EAPCRG a one-page summary of the proposed work of the group for the following year must be submitted.
  8. Once established the EAPCRG must have an annual work plan and must report to the Board at least twice a year to coincide with EAPC Board Meetings.
  9. The Board can request information and updates on the activities of reference groups at any time
  10. Where there is no evidence of EAPC Reference group engagement in the previous 12 months, the EAPC board reserve the right to terminate the group activity
  11. A financial plan is also required. Please note that all EAPC reference groups are expected to be self-financing in respect of all activities but will be supported as indicated above to seek sustainable funding through applications. Fundraising activities cannot conflict with the rules applying to the organisation’s Onlus status

Click HERE to download the EAPC Reference Group Application form

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