The IPPOSI Patient Education Programme is a training initiative for patients in Ireland, delivered over an 11-month period from March 2023 to January 2024.

The programme’s objective is to build capacity among the patient community in Ireland to take a more active role in collaboration with the other stakeholders involved. It covers the entire lifecycle of medicines, devices, and technology research and development (R&D), from the design and execution of Clinical Trials to Regulatory Processes to Health Technology Assessment (HTA). In addition to detailed information on each step of the process, the training also describes how patients can be involved at each stage.

Download The Flyer

What are the benefits?

The programme is designed to enable and empower the patient community in Ireland by:

  • providing an understanding of the health innovation system and the places for the patient’s voice in it
  • teaching patients how to better collaborate with the scientific, medical, and healthcare communities
  • developing patients’ confidence and knowledge to speak more effectively on behalf of themselves and those they represent
  • facilitating a network of like-minded patients, carers, and advocates

Graduates of the Patient Education Programme are also referred to as IPPOSI graduates. The ‘IPPOSI graduate’ title certifies the knowledge gained and gives graduates the opportunity to be recognised as expert patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

While the programme primarily targets patients and patient representatives (e.g., carers and persons working for patient organisations), it is open to all individuals interested in medicines R&D and patient engagement. The programme does not focus on any specific disease area; examples/case studies are provided from various disease areas.

The three requirements for enrolment are:

  • good proficiency in English
  • access to a high-speed Internet connection to enable participation in the course online learning and the virtual workshops (2-3 per module)
  • a willingness to participate in three face-to-face workshops (one per module).

So if you or your organisation want to learn about clinical trial design, the regulation of medicines or medical devices, or how the Irish state assesses new health technologies, this programme is for you!

For people who can meet the commitment asked for, the rewards are significant: 

  • You will gain an understanding of the health innovation system and the places for the patient’s voice in it. 
  • You will develop the confidence and knowledge to speak more effectively on behalf of yourself and those you represent because you have learned some of the language used by the scientific, medical, and healthcare communities. 
  • You will be empowered to seek more opportunities to get involved. 
  • You will develop your networks and meet some like-minded people. 

The 2023 programme is a blended (i.e. both online and in-person) training in which participants take 3 online modules broken down into weekly lessons and attend 3 workshops per module (two are virtually hosted on zoom and one is an in-person event in Dublin city centre):

  • Module 1: Clinical Trials (10-12 week period from April to June 2023) including 2 virtual and 1 in-person workshop
  • Module 2: Health Technology Assessment (HTA) (8-10 week period from Sept. to Nov. 2023) including 2 virtual and 1 in-person workshop
  • Module 3: Regulatory Affairs (8-10 week period from Nov. to Jan. 2023) including 2 virtual and 1 in-person workshop

For more information on the specific topics and individual lessons covered in each of the learning modules, please consult the IPPOSI Patient Education Programme catalogue

The module start dates and face-to-face events are communicated well in advance of their kick-off.

Completing the Patient Education Programme means you have completed all online lessons, passed the related lesson assessments, and actively participated in all (both in-person and virtual) workshops for each module.

The lessons are released on a weekly basis. A learner’s activity is not graded but all the required lessons must be completed. Completion of a lesson means taking and successfully passing the assessments (a simple evaluation to test the knowledge gained).  You need to reach at least 70% of correct answers to pass the assessments. Not every week or lesson has an assessment associated with it.

The online and in-person workshops are a great opportunity for participants to meet with each other, interact, network, and share experiences and learnings within the group. During the workshops, students engage in practical exercises led by representatives from the educational partners. There are no assessments during the in-person and online workshops, but it is mandatory to attend all workshops.  Absences for medical reasons need to be communicated in a timely manner and justified.

All lessons and workshop materials remain available throughout the programme so students can catch up or repeat lessons when needed.

IPPOSI provides technical and administrative support to the students. Our educational partners who are delivering the content provide advisory-level support to all students. Our peer mentors (graduates of previous editions of the programme) provide additional support and advice on both an individual and collective basis. In addition, networking between students is encouraged and facilitated by IPPOSI. There is also the possibility to interact with other students to form ‘study groups’ (this is optional and available only upon mutual consent to share contact details).

There is no cost to the enrolled students to participate in the online lessons and virtual workshops. Similarly, the cost of student travel to and from the three in-person workshops and the programme graduation are covered by IPPOSI. 

The 2023 IPPOSI Patient Education Programme is financially supported by the Health Research Board (Grant Number: IPPOSI-2020-1), as well as through in-kind resources from IPPOSI members and the 2023 Programme Education Partners: 

  • The European Patients Academy in Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI)
  • The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) 
  • The National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE)

The programme is inspired by IPPOSI’s continued involvement in, and partnership with, the European Patients Academy in Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI). 

We were open for applications from February 8 to March 6, 2023. This deadline has now passed and the programme kicked off in March 2023.

2023 Patient Education Programme Guidelines

Download The Guide for Applicants