PEPA – Learning Guide for Medical Practitioners

06 September 2022

Learning Guide for Medical Practitioners

This learning guide has been developed by a team of palliative care experts and reviewed by clinicians with extensive palliative care experience, including current medical practitioners. They will support medical practitioners to build their capacity and improve networks between themselves and specialist palliative care services.

A print / PDF writable version of this learning guide is also available for download from the PEPA website.

What is PEPA?

The Australian Government Department of Health funds a range of national palliative care projects to enhance the quality of palliative care service delivery and increase support for people who are living with life limiting illness, who require end-of-life care, their families and carers.  The overall aim is to improve access to high quality palliative care for all Australians as they require it.

The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) forms part of the Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative.  As a national palliative care project, this Collaborative takes a strategic approach to education and training of the health workforce and delivers programs for priority health care provider groups across primary, secondary and tertiary settings.

Specifically, PEPA aims to enhance the capacity of health professionals to deliver a palliative care approach through their participation in either clinical placements in specialist palliative care services or interactive workshops.

PEPA provides opportunities to develop confidence, knowledge and skills in the palliative approach to care through:

  • funded clinical workforce placements or workshops
  • integration of learning into your workplace
  • establishing networks of support

The PEPA learning experience can help you, as a health care provider, to:

  • gain a clear understanding of the principles of good palliative care
  • identify the needs of your patients with life-limiting conditions
  • understand the role of your discipline in managing common problems faced by palliative care patients
  • recognise your own knowledge base/scope of practice in regard to optimal palliative care provision
  • identify personal coping strategies for effective management of personal issues related to working in this area.

PEPA is being implemented in all Australian states and territories and applicants from rural and remote areas are encouraged to apply.

This program provides an ideal opportunity to learn from experienced specialist staff to enhance skills, knowledge and experience in the palliative approach.

The PEPA/IPEPA online modules are designed to prepare for and maximise your learning during your placement and to promote transfer of learning into the workplace.

More information about PEPA can be found at