WECAN Academy

There is no shortcut to knowledge. To be able to advocate for patients in all different areas of need – e.g. patient care, healthcare policy or research – more effectively and to grow a new generation of advocacy leaders, patient advocates need to continuously build their skills and expertise in those areas.

One of WECAN’s key objectives is to increase the capacity and number of well-trained patient advocates and patient experts in order to further grow a community of activists across the community that can induce change in healthcare, and more specifically, in cancer.

Education Strategy

The WECAN Academy was initiated in 2019 when two leading capacity building programs in patient advocacy were combined in a three day face-to-face training. WECAN Smart Start: Starting and Building a National Non-Profit Patient Group focused on “beginners” in patient advocacy, and the WECAN Masterclass on Patient Advocacy on experienced patient advocacy leaders. Read more about the 2019 Academy here.

Now, the WECAN Academy has grown to provide more educational programs, recourses, and workshops, for the cancer patient community to enhance their skills and understanding of key issues.

The WECAN Academy educates patient advocates on the three knowledge pillars “Advocacy Tools & Skills”, “Healthcare Systems, Policy and Access,” and “Research and Data”.

Advocacy Tools & Skills

Courses on topics including leading an non-profit patient organisation, developing good governance, effective communication, and funding

Healthcare Systems, Policy & Access

Resources on health economics, understanding the different stakeholders perspectives on pricing

Research & Data

Improving patient relevance on clinical trials, how to interpret scientific data, and big topics in data including real-world-data and health data

Educational PROGRAMS

Our educational programs are available to WECAN member organisations and caner patient advocates. A list of current and past programs is provided below.

WECAN Academy Online Learning Platform

On-demand learning for patient advocates.


Evidence-Based Advocacy

Special training programs on evidence generation, analyzing and publishing data, and the practical use of data to drive change.


Patients in Publications

Patients in Publications

Open-access online course for patient advocates on how publish their own research and survey data, and how to act as co-authors or peer-reviewers



Expert-level training course with a focus on building a cross-cancer capacity in science and research.


Knowledge Base

Resources and past presentations from the 2019 WECAN Academy


Virtual Meeting Resource Center

Resources on how to set up virtual meetings, conferences and general assemblies.


WECAN Academy 2020/2021

Virtual training webinar series. The webinar series combined the WECAN SmartStart and Materclass programs.


WECAN Academy 2019

Two 3-day training programmes held for 6-9 July 2019 in Frankfurt/Germany to grow the knowledge and skills of about 100 leading patient advocates from Europe