Rapid Fire Session 2014 World Cancer Congress

Online hub for the learning and development of health professionals in cancer care (#394)

Rob Sutherland 1 , Caroline Nehill 1 , Tim Shaw 2 , Patsy Yates 3 , Helen Zorbas 1
  1. Cancer Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. Workforce Education Development Group, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Background and Context:

The provision of optimal cancer care is complex and involves a range of multidisciplinary health professionals and settings. The widely distributed and heterogeneous nature of the cancer workforce in Australia presents particular challenges to professional learning and development. Cancer Australia’s national cancer control agency, through Cancer Learning, provides online, accessible and evidence-based resources and learning activities for health professionals


To support the uptake of best practice cancer care by health professionals through providing accessible and evidence-based online learning and development resources.


A national multi-phase project led by Cancer Australia and involving a collaboration of stakeholders in cancer care, has informed the development of an online hub, Cancer Learning. An iterative action based research approach has allowed for ongoing evaluation and improvements to Cancer Learning.

Programme/Policy Process:

Cancer Australia has supported Cancer Learning since its development in 2007. During 2013-2014, Cancer Learning was redeveloped through a rigorous process of user research to incorporate evidence based e-learning packages in priority areas of cancer care, including multidisciplinary care, supportive care and nursing education (including in specific tumour types). Resources are jointly developed with leading multidisciplinary experts in cancer care and delivered through dynamic online platforms.

Outcomes/What was learned:

Evaluations have been positive and site usage continues to grow, with over 2,600 registered users and over 4,500 unique users each month. Cancer Learning has achieved Health on the Net status, certifying the site’s content as quality and reliable and has been endorsed by various Australian peak cancer care bodies. Collaborative partnerships have reduced duplication, standardised approaches and enhanced uptake of quality evidence-based learning and development. This national initiative highlights the important role that online initiatives can play in supporting the professional learning and development of all health professionals involved in cancer care, regardless of geographical location.