Educational Programme

As a donor health care professional, you are involved in collecting Substances of Human Origin (SoHO). Your first responsibility is to safeguard donors who donate medical products of human origin for medical use. Your second responsibility is to ensure that the donated products are safe and effective.

The Donor Health Care (DoHeCa) programme is a postgraduate educational programme that offers you the specialised knowledge, tools, and skills you need to fulfill these responsibilities.

DoHeCa has an innovative multidisciplinary approach, combining the fields of blood, cells, tissues, and organ donation. It will equip you with specialised knowlegde on core areas including donor suitability and the donation procedure.

Modular structure
The programme has a modular structure. These are the six modules:

  • Personal Development (7 EC)
  • Basic principles of Donor Health Care (5 EC)
  • Donor suitability (10 EC)
  • Donation and complications (8 EC)
  • Specifications and application of Medical Products of Human Origin (10 EC)
  • Quality management in Donor Health Care (5 EC)

You can choose to follow either the complete program, or modules 0 to 5 (no research project), resulting in a certificate.

Course load
The total programme comprises 45 EC (European Credits, 1 EC = 28 hrs) in 1.5 years. Assuming there are 45 weeks per year that can be used for study, this comes down to 22 hours per week.

The DoHeCa programme is a distance-learning programme. This allows you to participate wherever you are in the world and to study from your own place. The online learning environment is accessible 24/7 and allows you to combine studying with your job.

For whom?
The programme is open for all donor health care professionals: medical professionals who are involved in assessing donors and retrieving bodily materials, such as blood, cells, tissues and organs, for medical use.

You can enroll regardless of whether you are involved in obtaining products from living or diseased donors. E.g. physicians, nurse practitioners and transplant coordinators are welcome to enroll.

The DoHeCa programme is given at postgraduate level, EQF7*. You can enroll when you:

  • hold a medical or biomedical degree (EQF7* or comparable), or
  • hold a bachelor certificate EQF6* (or comparable) in a relevant field (medicine, biomedical, nursing) and are employed in the field of donor health care.

* For more information about the EQF (European Qualifications Framework), click here.

If you are a professional primarily involved in product transfusion or transplantation, you are not part of the main target group for this programme. Nevertheless, you can participate. To read more about the division line between the fields of donor health care and clinical care click here.

Starting date
The programme is currently being developed and piloted. We plan to start the first edition in September 2018.


The programme focuses on the theoretical part of the donor health care profession. On its own, it does not qualify for the profession. For that, a practical training on the job is needed as well. This DoHeCa programme can therefore be embedded into national or institutional education programmes, as a part of a full qualification for the donor health care profession. Furthermore, professionals can take part in this programme in the context of continued education.