Training & Education

Training & Education

ERN eUROGEN is training and educating the next generation of urologists and surgeons, increasing skill levels, offering highly specialised surgical training, and improving patient outcomes in the rare diseases and complex conditions covered by the Expertise Areas in our three Workstreams.

We aim to facilitate mobility of expertise, virtually or physically; to develop, share and spread information, knowledge, and best practice; and to foster developments that improve care within and outside the network. A priority is transferring knowledge and training to those Member States with less expertise, thereby increasing the quality of outcomes across the EU/EEA. We also aim to share this knowledge globally. We are able to do this by pooling and disseminating highly specialised knowledge.

Each of our Workstreams has a dedicated Educational Lead who develops the training and education programme on a yearly basis with input from our European Patient Advocacy Group (ePAG). More information on some of these activities can be found below, including our webinar programme, the ERN Exchange Programme, our book on rare and complex urology, and the ERN Academy.

We also aim to record highly specialised surgeries using a dedicated camera in the operating room at the ERN eUROGEN HCP Network Coordinator centre (Radboudumc) and produce some short educational videos on different Expertise Areas in collaboration with our ePAG. We have run and will continue to run courses (e.g., the paediatric colorectal courses that are supported by ERN ERNICA and our Supporting Partners, ARM-Net and EUPSA).

Our virtual multi-disciplinary team (MDT) video-consultation discussions and reporting offer a whole new perspective for training experts via virtual participation.  In addition, the outputs from our scientific publications, patient registry, guidelines, and collaboration (including research) activities are (and will be) used for training and education.

Webinar Programme

The major component of our Training & Education activities is the ERN eUROGEN Webinar Programme. A whole section of our website is devoted to this, including information on upcoming webinars and past webinars.

ERN Exchange Programme

The call for applications is now open. The deadline for arranging visits is the end of December 2022, and the deadline for visits taking place is the end of January 2023. 

To apply to be a visitor or a host visit our online tool – but please read the eligibility criteria below before applying.

The ERN Exchange Programme is fully funded by the European Commission (through HaDEA) and is designed to spread knowledge across the network and stimulate collaboration between healthcare professionals in European Reference Networks (ERNs).

Visitors: Visits can be made by a clinical staff member from any of our full member or affiliated partner HCPs (including members of their multi-disciplinary teams). There is also the potential for our ePAG representatives to take part if an HCP agrees to host a non-clinical visitor. Group visits are encouraged as long as the proposed exchanges are focused on enhancing their clinical skills, or sharing expertise, experiences and, highly specialised knowledge under the scope and framework of the 24 ERNs. It is also possible to arrange a group meeting for new and/or affiliated partners to pull them closer into the activities of the ERN or group visits to observe and discuss patient pathways, guidelines or registries.

Hosts: Visits are to any ERN healthcare provider (HCP) – this can be an HCP within ERN eUROGEN, or potentially an HCP within one of the other 23 ERNs, if relevant and appropriate (e.g., ERN ERNICA have agreed to host visitors for training on Hirschprung’s disease and ERN ERKNet for renal/urinary tract malformations).

Duration: The maximum duration of an exchange visit is six weeks, in order to better meet the varying needs of the ERNs.

Travel Arrangements: If the Mobility Agreement is shared two months in advance, Ecorys (the company facilitating the visits for the EC) can arrange the travel.  However, last-minute visits are also possible; if the signed Mobility Agreement cannot be shared two months before the visit, visitors can arrange their travel themselves and be reimbursed for the costs (up to a maximum of €300 for flights and €200 for train tickets).

Daily Subsistence Allowance: A daily subsistence allowance (DSA) is paid and is now also applicable for weekend days for exchanges with a duration of multiple weeks. The weekends in between will be covered with DSA.

Positive Evaluations: You can see the report from some of the ERN eUROGEN visitors in this edition of our newsletter. The evaluations of previous visitors are very positive. They mostly value the following results:

  • Gaining more specialised knowledge on rare diseases;
  • Seeing considerably more patients with a rare disease than would have been possible in their own hospital;
  • The opportunity to contribute to the treatment of complex cases;
  • Meeting in person with colleagues in the ERN.

We strongly encourage you to motivate your colleagues to utilize the opportunities that the Exchange Programme offers!

Please feel free to contact Jen Tidman, ERN eUROGEN Business Support Manager, or Michelle Battye, ERN eUROGEN Programme Manager, if you have questions or would like to discuss an application.

Ecorys, the company who are facilitating the programme on behalf of the EC, have produced some helpful documentation about the programme, which you can download:

Book on Rare & Complex Urology

An agreement was signed on 29 January 2021 between ERN eUROGEN and the publisher Elsevier to produce a book on rare and complex urology. The book is currently in production; lead authors have been contacted, and we have set deadlines of 31 October 2022 for submission of the first round of complete chapter manuscripts and 31 December 2022 for the complete manuscript. The book will then be published in Spring 2023.

Preface & Introductory Chapters: The book will have a preface by Prof Wout Feitz, ERN eUROGEN HCP Network Coordinator Representative, followed by an introductory chapter on “The European Association of Urology (EAU) and ERN eUROGEN” by Prof Christopher Chapple, the founding ERN eUROGEN HCP Network Coordinator Representative and Secretary General of our Supporting Partner the European Association of Urology, and a chapter on “The EU/EC view on the ERN Programme and Development” by Mr Enrique Terol, former EC ERN Policy Officer.

Overview Chapters:  There will then be a series of overview chapters with an update on our patient care numbers (see the previous report here), our European Patient Advocacy Group‘s view of the ERN programme and patient pathways, our European and global collaboration, our patient registry, and the development of our clinical practice guidelines and clinical decision support tools.

Expertise Area Chapters: The book will then have an Expertise Area (EA) chapter for each EA we cover within our three Workstreams. We have developed a protocol for these chapters to ensure their quality and that they are a consensus view:

  1. The Expertise Area Coordinators (EACs) within ERN eUROGEN will be the lead contributors for the EA chapters. They should write and review their draft chapters with at least two other experts from their expertise area; where there is a vice-EAC, they should be one of the experts.
  2. Each chapter should therefore be written by a minimum of three experts, and these should be from different ERN eUROGEN HCPs. In cases where the EAC and vice-EAC are from the same HCP, this means there will need to be at least four experts involved.
  3. Each chapter should be peer-reviewed and agreed upon by at least one ePAG Advocate.
  4. Once written and peer-reviewed, the chapter and the completed sign-off template included in the ERN eUROGEN Book Contributor Pack should be sent to the Editorial Team.
  5. The Editorial Team will review the chapter to ensure that it meets the agreed standards set out in this factsheet. The Editorial Team will ask for clarification from the EAC where required.
  6. Once the chapter is agreed upon, the Editorial Team will ask the lead author to submit it to Elsevier via EMSS.

Contributor Pack: You can download the full contributor pack for the book which includes:

  • ERN eUROGEN’s Factsheet 2022-04-28
  • ERN eUROGEN’s Sample Overview Chapter 2021-03-25
  • Elsevier’s Book Layout Example
  • Elsevier’s Chapter Template
  • Elsevier’s Manuscript Preparation Overview
  • Elsevier’s Permissions Information
  • Elsevier’s Writing and Copyediting Style Guide

If you have any questions, please email Jen Tidman, ERN eUROGEN Business Support Manager, who is leading the production of the book for the Coordination Team.

ERN Academy

The European Commission is developing the ERN Academy for rare disease training and education using the Moodle platform, and this is due for launch in 2023.

Each ERN will have access and can add their materials to the platform.  This will then be used for medical students, experts, patients, and other stakeholders.  ERN eUROGEN will be involved in the pilot phase of this.  If you are interested in helping develop a training module relating to their Expertise Area, please contact Darren Shilhan, ERN eUROGEN Lead IT & Data Performance Analyst.