Quality Improvement - A Prerequisite for Universal Health Coverage (in English) (3 ECTS)

About this training

This short course gives a basic overview of quality improvement concepts. Participants will be introduced to the current health system concept, and quality improvement strategies as well as quality and related financial concepts in the context of Universal Health Coverage. Participants will be exposed to examples of international quality problems and methods to identify improvement opportunities.

Quality Improvement 

Improving quality and patient safety in health systems around the world has been central to the work of our experts at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health and at evaplan. We designed our online courses to share the knowledge we gathered in the field with professionals and students who want to build their capacities. Our fast track course in quality improvement is available in French in addition to English. 

  Learning Objectives

By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Discuss why improving quality in health systems is essential for better health outcomes
  • Explore key health system factors influencing quality of health care services-Critically evaluate the rational and constrains of establishing regulatory frameworks to ensure quality
  • Apply a systems approach using QI tools
  • Design a monitoring or evaluation system for aQI process within current practice in a health setting
  • Critically evaluate modern trends in health financing and their impact on quality of health care giving arguments for each in favour and against
  • Module 1: Introduction to Quality and UHC
  • Module 2: Frameworks and regulatory mechanisms
  • Module 3: Systems approach to improve quality in current practice
  • Module 4: Monitoring and evaluating quality in health
  • Module 5: Financial mechanisms for quality towards UHC
Teaching and Assessment

The course is offered as a self E-learning course, providing a flexibility to the students to enter and complete the modules at their convenience. It uses a mixture of provision of content in lecture modules, case studies on a practical implication of the concepts, self-test questions, case studies. Two discussion forums for organizational questions and technical questions give at any time the opportunity for direct contact to the main tutor of the course and technical experts, who are ready to answer questions and give additional input in case of need. The course is with 90 h students investment time, incl. modules completion, reading materials, discussions in the online forum, possible chats with tutors or experts. Participants’ learning will be assessed on:

  • Full completion of the modules and assignments within the modules (60%)
  • Active participation in content-matter discussions on the forum of the course (10%)
  • Final test (30%)
Course Experts

Our experts involved in the content development:

Dr Sylvia Sax is a Registered Nurse (University of Illinois) with a PhD in Global Health (University of Heidelberg) and more than 30 years’ experience internationally.  Her interest in education and healthcare improvement, strengthened through a Certificate in Adult Learning and a Master in Public Health (New Zealand), led her to work for 7 years as Coordinator of a Master in International Health. She led establishment of a programme of more than 17 short courses at the University of Heidelberg and was coordinator for 3 years of the TropEd accredited short course programme. She has advised on policy, led and undertaken large-scale evaluations and designed, led and facilitated training programs.

Dr Irmgard Marx is a medical doctor specialised in general medicine, tropical medicine and quality management. She is a certified Clinical Risk Manager, ISO-Auditor, European Practice Assessment (EPA) Assessor and EFQM Assessor and has 20 years of experience in the field of Quality Management, Patient Safety, Systemic Organisational Development and Human Resource Development in Germany and internationally. Irmgard is a lecturer at the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg and has extensive experience in all aspects of capacity building including development of e-learning courses.

Dr Peter Campbell has 25-years’ experience as an international Public Health specialist. He is educated as a Family Physician, has a Masters in International Health and a certificate in Post-Graduate Medical Education. Academically, for the past 10-years he has worked for the University of Heidelberg and for the Charité, Berlin as Course-Coordinator/ Lecturer/ Thesis Supervisor/ Examiner on Masters courses including Quality Management, Health Economics/ Health Financing, and Consultancy Skills.

Dr Norma Lange-Tagaza is a Filipino-born German national doing consultancy in the areas of health, education, intercultural and international management, and development cooperation. As a Trainer, Executive Coach and Organizational Development Consultant, she brings to her work a passion for capacity development of individuals, teams and organizations using the methodologies of training, coaching and process consulting. Her topics include intercultural communication, leadership and change, conflict management and negotiation. Her training courses are theory-based, practice-oriented and client-focused and she uses a blended learning and interactive approaches. A Gestalt-trained coach and organizational development consultant, she supports the client system’s awareness, thereby enabling it to enlarge and deepen its way of thinking and doing things.

Requirements and Admission


Public health professionals, Social protection sector professionals, policy makers, private companies and relevant public administrations, project planners and coordinators, postgraduate students,independent of the geographical origin.


This course is available in English and French. Fluency in either language (Reading, Speaking and Writing) is required.


The participants can complete the course at their own pace. We estimate that a total of 90h need to be invested to complete all course material.

3 ECTS (tropEd)


€ 600