PEPA | The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach

A significant element of the Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative is its three components. A component of this program is the Program of Experience in Palliative Care (PEPA). Within the framework of its national palliative care project, the Collaborative takes a strategic approach to train the healthcare workforce and develops programs for healthcare providers in primary, secondary, and tertiary settings to attend to their needs.

What is PEPA?

In Australia, the Australian Government Department of Health funds several pain management projects to provide more high-quality palliative care in Australia services and support people with life-limiting illnesses and their families and caregivers. With this policy, there is a broad objective to make palliative care more accessible to everyone, wherever they live. As a group dedicated to providing all palliative care providers with the best possible education and training, the Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative (PCAPC) exists. They are delivering programs for priority groups of primary, secondary, and tertiary care providers through the collaborative project that has been established as a national palliative care initiative. By providing clinical experience in a palliative care service or attending interactive workshops, PEPA aims to enhance health professionals’ skills in delivering palliative care.

As part of its extensive Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) and the Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates (PCC4U), the Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) has funded Queensland University of Technology (QUT) since 2003. In December 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a brand new three-year phase for the Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative (which includes PCEPA and PCC4U). As part of the new phase, the Department will build upon the successes of both of its previous initiatives. To provide quality palliative care to Australians, the project employs a collaborative approach involving the whole workforce. In this program, the healthcare workforce in Australia is intended to be built up.


In addition to integrating contemporary, evidence-based educational strategies, PEPA workshops will include activities consistent with the PEPA goals.

PEPA Placements

During a supervised observational placement (for two to five days) at a specialist palliative care facility (host site), all healthcare team members are allowed to develop skills in a palliative environment. The PEPA Placements team is looking forward to supporting you during your placement as you develop your skills and learn.

PEPA Mentoring

Often described as a partnership where two individuals with varying experience levels cooperate in providing guidance, advice, feedback, support, and feedback to a younger counterpart. Young people benefit from mentorship as they develop and grow. PEPA mentors provide palliative care information to PEPA participants so that they can be more knowledgeable about it. Sharing of knowledge is designed to assist participants in transferring that knowledge to their workplace and integrating it into patient care. Culturally sensitive and culturally safe mentoring methods are used during the mentoring process.

Community of Practice

Participants and PEPA mentors can meet in this Community of Practice (CoP) to share their experiences and knowledge of palliative care. Health care professionals can share their experiences within a community of practice, develop and discuss topics of interest, and build relationships among themselves. A community of practice was coined by Etienne Wenger, an educator and academic, who defined it as “Groups of people who get together regularly to share their expertise and learn new skills.” Ideally, a CoP should consist of its members participating in and primarily leading the process. CoP members ensure that the CoP remains relevant, active, and valuable by maintaining a regular schedule of events.

PEPA / IPEPA Learning Pathway

Learn how to understand and develop your skills and knowledge of palliative care through the PEPA and IPEPA learning pathways. A proactive approach to patient comfort entails symptom management as well as reducing distress for patients. This approach offers the most significant advantage of determining the beliefs and needs of individuals early on while giving guidance on how to support them and their families, caregivers, and community members.

How to Contact PEPA?

To contact the PEPA National Team, email


PEPA was formed in 2001 and today is represented by a team of experienced and passionate palliative care professionals across Australia. In addition to providing workshops and placements to the community, PEPA consists of professional staff and administrative personnel who work together to ensure that these are effective.

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