Training & exchanges

ERN CRANIO Exchange Programme

What is it about?

The European Commission in cooperation with ECORYS has launched a Clinical Exchange Programme to share knowledge and to stimulate collaboration between healthcare professionals in European Reference Networks (ERNs). The programme is designed to strengthen the clinical capacities and organisation of the Network.

The aim of the ERN Exchange Programme is to harmonize specific knowledge and reduce gaps in expertise. The basic idea is to transmit expert knowledge by experts visiting other sites or on-site training of professionals at experienced CRANIO centres. The programme is open to clinicians and other groups of healthcare professionals (e.g. psychologists, nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians) from ERN member and affiliated partner hospitals.

Facts about the visit packages:

  • A total of 34 visit one-week funding packages are available to CRANIO
  • These packages can be used in different rounds of exchange (Sep 21 – Feb 22,  March -Aug 22)
  • Each package includes travel expenses plus 5*200€/day for accommodation and other expenses
  • Packages can be combined to allow two or more professionals (e.g. from different fields of specialty) to travel to the same hosting centre
  • The package does not include insurance for professional liability and costs incurred by the hosting health care professionals

We are envisioning the following typical scenarios for this programme:

  • A fellow or junior/trainee pediatric surgeon from a member centre travels to a renowned CRANIO member centre to receive hands-onsite training.
  • A clinician expert from an ERN CRANIO member centre is invited to visit another ERN CRANIO centre for one week to share specific expertise, e.g. in lectures, ward rounds and rare disease outpatient clinics. The expert could be accompanied by 1-2 other specialists from the same or other fields (e.g. psychologist, nurses, physiotherapist etc.)
  • Members of a MDT or team experts related to the care of our specific rare diseases (e.g. psychologists, nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians) visit another MDT for horizontal exchange on different specific expertise fields.

How to find a suitable HCP?

There are 2 possibilities to find a suitable ERN CRANIO HCP for a visit: 

  • Initiative application: You can contact any ERN CRANIO member centre and ask if they are interested in hosting you. 
  • After official registrations, an overview of  all ERN CRANIO expert centres that have agreed to host young clinicians and other health professionals will be available on the website. This overview will show the contact person of each centre and their field of expertise.

Specific CRANIO criteria you can find here

For more information about the Exchange programme please click here

All frequently asked questions you can find here FAQ

Please consider to become a visiting expert, trainee or a hosting institution in this new exchange programme. Here you can express your interest to apply as a HOST and/or VISITOR. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to contact  ERN CRANIO Project manager Ikram L’khssim (


Educational sessions at ERN CRANIO annual network meetings

Educational sessions form part of the ERN CRANIO annual network meetings. Multi-disciplinary care is key to the treatment of patients with rare and/or complex craniofacial and ENT disorders. Each network meeting features an educational session from a different health discipline.

Sharing resources on areas of good practice

ERN CRANIO encourages its members to share resources on areas of good practice. See resources page.   

Development of illustrative e-learning videos for patients and families

ERN CRANIO has received additional funding from the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union to develop illustrative e-learning videos for patients with diseases covered by ERN CRANIO and their families. Development is currently in progress. See resources page.

This communication reflects only the author’s view. The European Commission (and the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency) is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.