Continuous professional development (CPD)

The ECDC Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is an overall umbrella for all ECDC training activities, and targets professionals working in the ECDC national competent bodies and actively participating in the ECDC disease programme and public health function networks; National Coordinators (NCs), National Focal Points (NFPs) and Operational Contact Points (OCPs). In general, the target audience is professionals in the EU/EEA Member States who can benefit from acquiring skills and competencies for addressing serious cross-borders threats to health.

The CPD aims to meet the institutional needs of countries in order to have a competent workforce, effectively working and interacting with experts at ECDC, other countries and other international organisations at the EU-level.

Short courses

ECDC is offering continuous professional development that cover topics of interest for participants to keep abreast of developments in the field of communicable diseases, and provide tools for communication of public health evidence to decision makers.

ECDC Virtual Academy (EVA) platform  hosts ECDC courses, which are broadly available.

With a spirit of lifelong learning, ECDC offers an annual Summer School for supervisors and other trainers with updates on communicable disease prevention and control. The CPD is complemented with a Winter Workshop and other short courses.

Stand-alone online courses, webinars and communities of practice allow a broader audience to be reached thanks to the use of new information technologies.

Formats like regional workshops for exchange of experience among countries with similar challenges or interests; and participation in simulation exercises are also a key part of the CPD.

Access to training materials and announcements of existing training initiatives by other institutions based on mapping exercises and partnerships (e.g. Schools of Public Health) facilitate the expansion of the ECDC training offer, and opens possibilities for networking and exchange of experience with other training providers and key stakeholders.

ECDC and the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) is setting up a network of schools of public health Topics to be covered by external courses could include public health informatics, public health law, public health policy and leadership, among others.


While skills, practice and exchange of experiences are usually conducted face-to-face, e-learning formats can contribute to reducing time in the classroom and providing some of the more theoretical training, and preparatory work in advance. Most e-learning courses are designed as stand alone courses and are available to a broad public.

Senior exchange initiative

This is an initiative providing an opportunity for an exchange of senior public health experts from the Member States. Participants are able to familiarise themselves with working methods of other EU countries, creating a network among colleagues and support for the European dimension in public health cooperation and training. This training format is based on exchange visits and aims at providing bilateral learning opportunities.

Information sheet on the Senior Exchange Initiative (SEI)

Administrative Decision on “Rules governing the ECDC Senior Exchange part of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme”, Stockholm

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