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. 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).


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.

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 activities, including research, are (and will be) used for training and education.

Exchange Programme (2023-) (Open)

The ERN eUROGEN Exchange Programme follows and will build upon the successful first exchange programme facilitated by the EC from 2021-2022 (see below).

Aims: By funding exchange visits between ERN healthcare providers (HCPs), the programme aims to strengthen clinical and organisational expertise and share best practices in the field of healthcare, meet goals and strengthen capacity at the Network level, and share expertise, experiences, and highly specialised knowledge under the scope and framework of the 24 European Reference Networks. Exchanges also fit with the priority of ERN eUROGEN to train and educate the next generation of urologists and surgeons, increase skill levels, offer highly specialised surgical training, and improve patient outcomes in the rare diseases and complex conditions covered by ERN eUROGEN’s Expertise Areas.

Visitors: Visitors can be members of the urological multi-disciplinary team (MDT) working at ERN eUROGEN Full Member or Affiliated Partner healthcare providers (HCPs) or at HCPs in Ukraine, ERN eUROGEN Supporting Partners (Individual Experts), ERN eUROGEN Patient Advocacy Group (ePAG) advocates, and other individuals at the ERN eUROGEN HCP Network Coordinator Representative’s discretion. Visits can be for 1-6 weeks. Upon completion of the programme of an exchange visit, the visitor will receive a certificate stating the visit duration and activities performed. Unfortunately, visitors who are not ERN eUROGEN members are not eligible and would need to be funded by their own ERN to visit an ERN eUROGEN HCP.

Hosts: ERN eUROGEN Exchange Programme hosts can be Full Member or Affiliated Partner healthcare providers (HCPs) in any ERN. Unfortunately, any costs incurred by hosts are not eligible for reimbursement by ERN eUROGEN.

Terms of Funding, Costs, and Reimbursement: Funding will be provided first-come-first-served and limited to the available budget. Therefore, ERN eUROGEN has the right to stop accepting applications at any time. The visitor will be responsible for booking their own travel and accommodation. Travel, accommodation, and subsistence (food/local transport) costs will only be reimbursed up to the maximum unit costs outlined by the European Commission (see pages 13-18 of the EC Unit Costs document). Weekend stays will only be reimbursed when work takes place on the weekend, between working weeks (i.e., in the case of a 2+ week visit), or when travel schedules oblige the visitor to spend an additional night at the location of the visit. The visitor must promptly communicate to ERN eUROGEN any change that may occur in their exchange visit, depending on their availability/decisions, to allow for smooth coordination and adaptation of plans. If visitors cancel their trip after purchasing travel and accommodation, they will not receive reimbursement. Visitors are responsible for arranging travel insurance at their own expense.

HOW TO APPLY: If you and your potential host meet the eligibility criteria and you agree to the terms of funding, costs, and reimbursement, then please complete this application form, and the ERN eUROGEN Coordination Team will be in contact with you to progress your application.

Exchange Programme (2021-2022) (Closed)

The first ERN Exchange Programme was fully funded by the European Commission (through HaDEA, facilitated by Ecorys) and ran from 2021-2022. Like ERN eUROGEN’s own programme, it was designed to spread knowledge across the network and stimulate collaboration between healthcare professionals in European Reference Networks (ERNs).

As a smaller ERN, ERN eUROGEN was initially allocated 33 five-day packages, but as some ERNs were not using their allocations the network was able to apply on a first-come-first-served basis for additional packages. When the programme closed on 31 December 2022, ERN eUROGEN had used 84 five-day packages, which successfully increased knowledge sharing across the network and with other ERNs.

Positive evaluations were received from everyone who has taken part in an exchange through ERN eUROGEN: ”It was a great opportunity”, “We could share our experience”, “It was interesting to finally meet people who I know from virtual conversations”, “I was able to observe a wide array of complex surgeries”, “I will take what I’ve learned back with me to improve my clinical practice. This has been an important step in my Urological training”. “Successful, far beyond our expectations”, “allowed us to exchange knowledge to a depth we never reach in our everyday clinical life”, “this group visit provided great added value for all participants from both clinics.”

Ecorys found that visitors valued 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.

You can download Ecorys’ newsletters about the programme:

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 with a view to being 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.

Webinar Programme

The major component of ERN eUROGEN’s Training & Education activities is the Webinar Programme. You can read more about that here, including information on upcoming webinars and past webinars.