There has been a growing demand in the Asia Pacific region for accessible, affordable and culturally relevant palliative care courses accredited by universities. This course was designed to meet this need.

The Flinders Graduate Certificate in Health (Palliative Care) is a one-year distance learning course run by the National Cancer Centre Singpapore and the Department of Palliative and Supportive Services at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, in association with the Asia Pacific Palliative Care Network (APHN) and the Lien Centre for Palliative Care in Singapore.

The aim of the course is to give medical and nursing professionals the opportunity to deepen knowledge relevant to their practice.

Since 2006 the course has included two 2-week classroom intensives in Singapore and a 4-week clinical attachment in an accredited palliative care program.

On completion of the course candidates are awarded the Graduate Certificate in Health (Palliative Care) by Flinders University.  If candidates wish to pursue further studies, credits from this course will go towards other Graduate Diploma or Masters programs offered by Flinders University or other universities.

Candidates who extend the clinical attachment to three months will be awarded the APHN Diploma of Palliative Care.

The course was first held in 2006 with 16 students from 6 countries; 7 were men and 9 were women, five of whom are nurses from Singapore.  Now there have been five intakes with 91 students from 15 countries enrolling for the course.

One of the important outcomes of the course has been the ties of friendship that were established during the intensives and the clinical attachments in Singapore.  Blogs have been created for each intake of the course.  (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012)

The blogs have provided a forum for the network of alumni, many of whom are, or will be, leaders in palliative care in the Asia Pacific region.

For further information about the course please contact the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) – aphn@aphn.org.