Leadership in Palliative Care


The field of PC already offers many opportunities to develop clinical, research and education skills (Bausewein et al . 2015 ; Downing et al. 2014 ; Gamondi et al. 2013 ; Hughes et al. 2014 ; Payne 2010). More recently, leadership skills have begun to be regarded as essential in  PC capacity building and provision for teaching these skills has started. International leadership courses have been developed such as, the international Leadership Development Initiative for physicians (Columbus, Ohio, USA) and the international multidisciplinary leadership course European Palliative Care Academy (EUPCA). Several national courses have incorporated leadership  in their curriculum, e.g. multiprofessional research-related Leadership is included in Palliative Care blended learning PhD programme (Lancaster University, UK), the Hospice Strategic-Leadership-Programme by the Hospice UK and the Westcott Group (London, UK) and the MSc programme in PC Austria. Since 2017, EUPCA together with the EAPC have started  a « leadership award » which recognises  leadership courses.

So far, there has no detailed directory of leadership courses,  nor a virtual network platform of leadership experts, nor a consensus on what core competencies and capabilities are necessary for the field of PC.


Raymond Voltz


Raymond Voltz (Cologne, Germany) 

Sheila Payne


Independent Consultant in Psychosocial Palliative Care.
International Palliative Care Social Work 

click here to contact by email

Steering committee 

  • Frank Ferris (Ohio, USA)
  • Gerrit Frerich (Cologne, Germany)
  • Martin Loucka – EAPC Board link



Members of the emerging virtual network will be identified and invited throughout the life time of the Task Force.




May 2019: Open workshop at the EAPC congress in Berlin on leadership and trainings.

August 2019: Submission of task force application to EAPC board.

Online search: Identification of potential TF steering group, members and partners (course providers) and sending out invitations.

Oct 2019 – April 2020: – Directory of leadership courses:

Identification of leadership courses and contact persons (online search).

Course providers will be invited to become a TF member and partner.

Members and partners will be asked to send their curricula and to complete a questionnaire concerning e.g. essential learning objectives, teaching methods, duration in hours, academic level. A database with profiles will be created during the life time of the Task Force.  We suggest that the database is located at www.eupca.eu but we are happy to discuss the feasibility of this with the EAPC Head Office team).

– Virtual network of leadership experts:

Identification of relevant palliative care leadership experts (online search). Participants will be invited to provide informed consent to having their details stored on the database. A proforma with details of core competencies and contact address will be prepared. A database with profiles will be created. 

May 2020: Closed face-to-face meeting (2 hours) at EAPC congress in Palermo within TF steering group, TF members and invited experts: presentation of first results concerning directory and virtual network (expert discussion). Additional short open session (30 minutes) as advocacy for the TF.

June – Aug 2020: Draft delphi questionnaire will be sent out to TF steering committee. Feedback will be given. Revised questionnaire will be discussed within TF steering committee phone conference. Delphi questionnaire will be sent out (e.g. via survey monkey) to TF steering committee, members and partners (1st delphi round).

Sept – Nov 2020: Received feedback will be analysed (1st delphi round). Results will be sent to steering committee and members (2nd delphi round).

Jan – Feb 2021: Received feedback will be analysed (2nd delphi round). Results will be sent to steering committee and members (3rd delphi round).

March – April 2021: Received feedback will be analysed (3rd delphi round), consensus should be reached. Final results will be sent to TF steering committee. White Paper will be prepared. Directory of courses and virtual network will be finalised.

May 2021: Presentation of initial results of the Delphi study at EAPC World Congress in Helsinki within TF steering group and TF members.. EAPC board members will be invited. White Paper will be written by the TF steering committee based on the outcomes of the Delphi procedure.

References :

Downing J, Ling J, Benini F, Payne S, Papadatou D (2014): A summary of the EAPC white paper on core competencies for education in paediatric palliative care. European Journal of Palliative Care

Gamondi C, Larkin P, Payne S (2013): Core competencies in palliative

care: an EAPC White Paper on palliative care education. European Journal of Palliative Care

Hughes S, Firth P, Oliviere D (2014): Core competencies for palliative care social work in Europe: an EAPC White Paper – part 1, European Journal of Palliative Care

Payne, S (2010): EAPC Task Force on Family Carers White Paper on improving support for family carers in palliative care: part 1. European Journal of Palliative Care

Bausewein C, Daveson BA, Currow DC et al. (2015): EAPC White Paper on outcome measurement in palliative care: Improving practice, attaining outcomes and delivering quality services – Recommendations from the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Task Force on Outcome Measurement