The ESTRO School aims to:

  • Promote international exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of radiotherapy and oncology
  • Advance the education of and other medical professionals in the comprehensive care of patients with cancer
  • Support international exchange on the background and outcome of clinical and translational cancer research
  • Promote international standards for radiation oncology
  • Promote respect for the diversity of radiation oncology practice worldwide
  • Identify the needs for European education, through individuals, groups and national societies, and develop specific educational programmes to fulfil these needs
  • Develop programmes in line with and supported by the European Core Curricula and guarantee regular updates of both the curricula and the programmes
  • Cooperate with pre-existing programmes and develop new programmes in collaboration with other societies inside and outside Europe, in particular in the developing world.

The ESTRO School of Radiotherapy and Oncology is an international school that aims to improve, professionalise and standardise knowledge and practice in radiation oncology and associated professions in Europe and beyond.

To accomplish this mission the ESTRO School of Radiotherapy and Oncology promotes a large range of education tools, in particular high-quality teaching courses. The courses are based on the European Core Curricula and cover the following aspects of Radiotherapy and Oncology:

Principles and practice of radiotherapy and oncology with radiation physics and technology, radiobiology and oncology imaging      

Multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment, fostering communication among cancer-related medical subspecialities and the exchange of a wide range of issues related to cancer, including biology, prevention, diagnosis, staging, treatment, adverse side effects, palliative care, ethical-legal aspects, management and psychosocial implications

The ESTRO School of Radiotherapy and Oncology addresses basic and continuing medical educational needs, by focussing both on evidence based clinical practice and basic, translational and clinical research. Its activities are designed to meet the needs of practising radiation oncologists, radiation oncology residents, radiation biologists, radiation physicists, radiation technologists, oncology nurses and oncology administrators, as well as oncologists working in related specialties.

  • The ESTRO School serves science and clinical practice through a comprehensive pedagogical approach, promoting knowledge, professional autonomy and a collaborative attitude as defined in the European Core Curricula
  • The knowledge sources, programmes and projects of the ESTRO School are accessible to the worldwide oncology community without any religious, cultural, political or economic discrimination
  • The ESTRO School shares its knowledge, programmes and educational tools with its Faculty and Participants of the ESTRO educational activities according to the recommendations agreed upon by the ESTRO School
  • The ESTRO School Faculty is expected to endorse the School’s mission statement, this means that they should be prepared to advocate evidence-based medicine and the heterogeneity of its interpretation and should avoid any personal conflict of interest
  • The ESTRO School refuses to support requests or proposals based on unproven evidence or methodological discrimination
  • The ESTRO School promotes a validation system of its programmes to monitor the continuous improvement of its educational proposals
  • The ESTRO School is responsible for the update, reliability and transmission of the shared knowledge but not for the daily implementation of this knowledge by specific individuals.

The governance and relation to the ESTRO Board and Committees of the ESTRO School: 

  • The ESTRO School is governed by ESTRO’s Education Council (EDC). The ESTRO Board selects the Chair of the EDC for a period of 6 years (once renewable)
  • The Chair of the EDC reports to the ESTRO Board on the management, results and strategies of the ESTRO School. For that purpose, the EDC Chair is a member of the Board of Directors though has no voting rights
  • The Chair of the EDC can appoint extra members to cover specific missions for the time required
  • The EDC consists of the EDC Chair, the ESTRO President-Elect, representatives of all ESTRO standing committees, the chairs of the EDC programmes, a representative of IAEA and the ESTRO education director and manager. The EDC meets at least 4 times a year; the ESTRO course directors join one of these meetings
  • The EDC is responsible for the overall strategy of the ESTRO School. For the implementation of this strategy, the EDC delegates the tasks and responsibilities to the EDC programmes
  • The EDC is connected to the other standing ESTRO Committees through their representatives in the EDC.

Faculties

  • Course directors are appointed by the EDC through its chair. The position of the course director is reviewed after 3-4 years; replacement is discussed at 5-7 years. In case of any major problems the EDC chair will, in cooperation with the course director and the teaching faculty, look for and decide on appropriate solutions
  • Teachers are appointed by the course director. Selection criteria are expertise in the field (based on publications, references etc), pedagogical & communication skills and gender & geographical balance. Faculties usually consist of 6-8 teachers, but motivated exceptions are possible. It is a general rule for the courses of the ESTRO School that the entire faculty is present for the whole course and interacts both with other faculty members and with the participants. The EDC advises a phased turnover of the teachers, who should preferably be on the course for 5 – 7 years. To ensure the stability of the course, ex-teachers can be reappointed. For new courses it is preferable to keep the same faculty for at least 3 years before starting turnover
  • Course directors may also invite local people and guest lecturers to give a presentation in their course.
  • Course directors must not derive personal financial benefit from a commercial company or promote specific products
  • The programme of each course should be submitted for review to the EDC. Summaries of the yearly course evaluation forms and of the main topics of the Core Curriculum covered by the course should be circulated to the liaison person to allow recommendations for adjustment to the programme and/or the faculties if necessary
  • All teachers may attend one ESTRO course of their choice per year for free.  Course directors are entitled to 2 free registrations per year and may delegate one to a colleague or person of their choice. They also have access to all course material through Moodle
  • All course teachers are asked to give permission to share their educational material. If they agree, the material is made available to course participants, to all ESTRO School teachers and to the ESTRO Ambassador members.
  • The main knowledge reference structures for the educational activities of the ESTRO School are the ESTRO Core Curricula
  • It is the responsibility of the ESTRO School to ensure that the ESTRO educational programme covers these curricula comprehensively with appropriate educational activities
  • The European Core Curricula are updated on a regular basis. ESTRO takes the initiative and collaborates for the revision with UEMS and the National Societies for Radiation Oncology in Europe
  • Different forms of teaching and learning are applied in the educational activities of the ESTRO School such as up-front lectures, case discussions, literature discussions, interactive group work, tutorials, hands-on sessions, visits to RT departments, instructions by companies
  • All educational activities organised by the ESTRO School are continuously monitored through the course evaluation forms completed by the participants and the course examinations. The continuous evaluation is carried out by the course director in cooperation with the respective teaching course faculty and is also communicated to the EDC through the liaison persons
  • The ESTRO School aims to further develop teaching methodology by translating the successful experience of “ESTRO teaching” through charismatic teachers, interactive courses, cultural diversity and comprehensive teaching material into recommendations for appropriate teaching (“didactics”).

Good educational practice

The educational practice aims at providing the participant with:

  • tools to comprehensively evaluate different sources of knowledge
  • appropriate methods to judge available traditional and new knowledge based on sound scientific grounds
  • an attitude and behaviour that enables risk adapted, individualised, radio-oncology decisions
  • comprehensive knowledge based on the evidence available in the different fields of Radiotherapy, as defined by the Core Curricula
  • appropriate tools for basic and advanced treatment in radiotherapy and oncology
  • tools for actively and critically participating in clinical and translational research.

All ESTRO School programmes of the are accredited by ACOE (Accreditation Council of Oncology in Europe). ACOE accreditation is endorsed by EACCME, the European Accreditation Council for Continuous Medical Education - an institution of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), by AMA, the American Medical Association or by the European Board for Accreditation in Medical Physics (EBAMP).

The School therefore meets European quality standards.

ESTRO is currently looking into possible ways to obtain academic recognition for its educational programmes.

The ESTRO School is responsible for the development of a number of systematic educational activities:

  • Annual Teaching Courses
  • Basic courses
  • Specific multidisciplinary courses on the methodology of Radiotherapy: cooperation between physicists, biologists, RTTs, radiation oncologists
  • Specific interdisciplinary courses for major tumour sites: cooperation of radiotherapy specialists with organ specialists, medical oncologists and diagnostic oncology specialists
  • Pre-meeting Teaching Courses and Workshops
  • Teaching Lectures during meetings
  • E-learning
  • Regular educational reviews linked to the ESTRO School teaching programme.

The ESTRO School promotes its educational activities to  ESTRO members by mail and through the ESTRO website.

ESTRO provides the ESTRO School with an annual budget to cover the costs of organising its current activities, and also the financial means to develop the further growth of the School through new activities.

The ESTRO School welcomes educational grants provided by industry or by other approved financial sources. ESTRO recognises that industrial partners are crucial for the delivery of the best cancer care and it fosters continuous dialogue between ESTRO and industry to identify areas of synergy. ESTRO, however, restrains the influence of marketing and maintains its independence from the sponsors with whom it interacts in a neutral approach. Industrial sponsorship is acknowledged from those companies who are willing to respect this policy.

The ESTRO School is independent. ESTRO educational activities are based on evidence derived from physics, biology, technology and the different fields of oncology according to the principles of evidence-based medicine.

The ESTRO School has close connections and collaborates with other international societies in the organisation of joint educational activities and development of educational strategies:

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