What is EPAP?

The European Patient Ambassador Programme (EPAP) is a free, online, self-learning programme that introduces patients and carers to some of the basic skills and knowledge needed to represent yourself and others successfully. It is made up of 8 modules so you can choose those that interest you most:

  1. Being better informed
  2. Improving awareness
  3. Improving treatment and care
  4. Supporting research and development
  5. Influencing policy
  6. Working with the media
  7. Participating in healthcare conferences
  8. International health research projects

EPAP is available in English, Dutch, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Ukrainian.

You can choose which modules you are most interested in or work your way through them all. The total programme should take no more than 10 hours to complete. You can stop and start the programme when convenient to you and save your progress as you go along.

A certificate is issued to you at the end of each completed module.

Why become a patient ambassador?

There are many reasons why you might decide to get involved in patient and public involvement (PPI) and become a patient ambassador (patient representative). For example:

  • You are passionate about raising awareness of your condition.
  • You had a good or bad experience with a doctor or nurse that you want to share to improve the way a condition is managed in the future.
  • You have heard about a change in policy or law that you think is wrong or unfair.

As a patient or carer you have a unique perspective on the impact a chronic condition has on life, work and family, and you are in the best position to suggest improvements and solutions to improve policies, healthcare decisions and the delivery of services.

As a patient ambassador, you can represent others living with a condition and share your experience of how a chronic condition affects people’s lives.
As patient and public involvement (PPI) in healthcare grows, many more healthcare professionals are seeing the value of involving and engaging patients when writing guidelines, doing research, priority setting and making decisions about funding.

Read our factsheet on PPI to find out more about how speaking up for yourself and others can make a huge difference to how healthcare is delivered.

How do I get started?

Visit EPAP: https://elearning.epaponline.eu/

Select the language you wish to complete EPAP in, register your details, and get started with the module of your choice.

Could EPAP be a useful tool for your organisation?

If your organisation is interested in using EPAP and in signposting your members or service users to it, why not become one of our partners?

Advantages for your organisation include:

  • Your organisation logo will be included on the EPAP Partner page
  • Your organisation will have unlimited use of the course
  • You can post opportunities through ELF social media
  • The opportunity to input into updates of EPAP
  • The opportunity to receive notification of the number of people linked to your organisation that complete programme modules

What we ask partners to consider:

  • Regular, tailored communications about EPAP to your members/service users e.g. email, social media
  • Articles about EPAP in your newsletter or website
  • One-off EPAP training events
  • Presentation/flyer at your conferences or events
  • Link to EPAP from your website
  • Promotion through any additional channels appropriate to your organisation/members

Some partners have also worked with us to translate EPAP into other languages relevant for their own members/service users.

Social media materials

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How EPAP was developed

EPAP was developed by the European Lung Foundation (ELF) and the NIHR CLAHRC for Leeds, York and Bradford, with the help of patients, and professionals with expertise in key areas.

ELF originally developed EPAP to engage with patients ready and able to get involved in the future of respiratory healthcare. However, we worked with partners to ensure that the programme is suitable to people living with any chronic condition.

Regular reviews of the content take place.


If you have any questions about EPAP, email epap@ersnet.org.

EPAP partner organisations