Postgraduate Courses

Quality in Patient Health and Safety


The International Course in Quality in Health and Patient Safety (ICQHPS) is a university extension course that results from the partnership between the National School of Public Health - Sérgio Arouca of  Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in Brazil and the National School of Public Health in Lisbon.

It is intended for health professionals who exercise, or intend to perform, functions in health institutions at different levels of health care: Primary (Primary Care), Secondary (Hospital) or Tertiary (Continuing Care), public, private or social sector, in Portugal, Brazil, Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOPs) and East-Timor.

The ICQHPS is taught via e-learning, with a part of face-to-face teaching at the beginning and middle of the course.

During the course the Students will have access to the MOODLE, which contain  several materials, tools and pedagogical resources to support the course, as well as the manuals. Additionally, there will be tutorial support with teachers and specialists on the different topics covered.

Within each module, there will also be sessions dedicated to the topics under discussion, with national and international experts. These sessions will be videotaped and can be watched live by students, promoting active participation, or later, as they will be available for consultation.



The € 1,500 Walter Mendes Prize is awarded by ENSP-NOVA and aims to distinguish the best student(s) from each edition of the International Course on Quality in Health and Patient Safety.

The prize money should be used to support the dissemination of scientific work, participation in an international congress and/or publication in a scientific journal with open access.



Prof. Doctor Paulo Sousa (Coordinator)


The course has a total of 20 ECTS (European Credits Transfer System) with 25 modules integrated in 5 Curricular units / learning:

  • Quality in Patient Health and Safety: key aspects (5 ECTS)
  • Evaluation and risks Management in health organizations (4th ECTS)
  • Patient Health and Safety Governance (4th ECTS)
  • Research Methodologies (2 ECTS)
  • Final written assignment of the Course (5 ECTS)



1.Patient Quality and Safety | 2. Historical Perspective and Key Developments in Patient Safety | 3. Taxonomy in patient safety | 4. Error and breaches in health care | 5. The magnitude of the problem and contributing factors of error and adverse events | 6. Law and Patient Safety | 7. Healthcare related infections | 8. Medication error and patient safety | 9. Safe surgery |10. Patient safety and diagnosis | 11. Laboratory errors |12. Risk management of falls and pressure ulcers |13. Patient safety in emergency services and intensive care units |14. Non-clinical risk management |15. Safe maternity |16. Patient safety in primary health care |17. Safe and Reliable Health Organizations |18. Economic consequences of errors and adverse events |19. Accreditation and patient safety | 20.

Patient safety culture | 21. Patient Safety Indicators | 22. Occupational health and safety, ergonomics and patient safety | 23. Patient safety and the communication between health professionals | 24. Patient involvement: challenges, strategies and limits | 25. Research Methodologies







Applications* |

Publication of the list of admissions |

Registration |

Course Opening |

Course Duration| Approximately 40 weeks


*The application should be submitted online, by completing the application form and biographical online questionnaire, available in .

The documentation proving the degree or equivalent, as well as any other curricular elements that the applicant deems relevant should be attached to the form.



 There are thirty available vacancies.




"The course was clearly structured and easily accessible electronically. Although face-to-face moments were not mandatory, they were highly useful." | Alexandre Tavares, Doctor, Ontario, Canada

"The course has achieved an excellent dichotomy between theory and practice pointing paths, providing the required scientific information and anticipating solutions by approaching different realities in different institutions." | Regina Venâncio, Nurse at Hospital de Santo Espírito da Ilha Terceira, Azores


"The course addressed very useful topics for professional practice, promoting the appropriate discussion and sharing benefits for the different students, allowing the in depth of pertinent knowledge, both for professionals who work specifically in the area of ​​Risk and Safety Management of the Patient, as to the professionals in direct contact and care of the patient." | Angelina E. Mulumba, Risk Management and Analysis Service, Clínica Girassol, Luanda, Angola

"Despite the course being held via e-learning, the feeling of unity and sharing was constant, always maintaining the level of rigor and quality of ENSP-NOVA's study cycles." | Carla Rocha, Senior Technician, Direcção da Qualidade do Hospital Prof. Dr. Fernando Fonseca, E.P.E.



“For professionals with special interest in issues related to Quality in Health and Patient Safety, the ENSP Course is an opportunity we should not miss. The Course addresses in detail the main topics related to the dimensions of Quality and the strategies to strengthen the Safety of Care. This discussion is reinforced by the forums in which students, from various sectors, share their professional experience on each of the topics covered. In addition to the forums, both the individual or group work, as well as face-to-face moments, give the course an excellent dynamic which facilitates consolidating the concepts. Due to the curricular structure and quality of the organization this course is an asset even for professionals already experienced in this area ".  Bruno Matos, Enfermeiro, Client Quality and Safety Department Hospital Lusíadas Lisboa


"Participation in the CIQSSP of the National School of Public Health of Universidade Nova de Lisboa gave me the tools for practical application of my master's degree in Quality Management. The course is very well structured and tutoring played a key role both in monitoring and stimulating the participation of the students. The added value was to understand the "globalization" of Patient Safety issues". | Alice Martins, Internal Medicine Specialist & Occupational Health Adviser, Clínica Sagrada Esperança, Luanda


“Health care service is an activity with risk factors, to ensure the anticipation of work systems dysfunctions we need to focus on training and knowledge acquisition. Therefore, the International Course of Quality in Health and Patient Safety is particularly relevant in our professional career regardless of our area of ​​activity.  Although the course is taught mostly at a distance, discussion forums promote the possibility for sharing experiences of different professionals and different countries that, despite being separated by oceans, have similar concerns regarding the promotion of  a security culture within the institutions, thus becoming a space of mutual enrichment. This experience left a mark on me in the sense that we are all responsible for promoting a safety culture that becomes systemic and invest on the health and safety of both the patient and the provider, involving the organizations; this is the only way to restore the confidence of our patients and health professionals and effectively assure the safety and sustainability of the (national) health system".| Catarina da Luz Oliveira, Hospital Pharmacist, Hospital de Vila Franca de Xira, President of the Portuguese Association of Hospital Pharmacists 2015-2018


"Simultaneously to the extensive and in-depth content presented, participants were encouraged to combine theory and practice, which provided very good discussions and an intense exchange of experiences among the participants. This involvement was extremely beneficial and created an atmosphere to strengthen ties during the face-to-face moment, which topped the excellent experience of attending this course!"|Cláudia Dolores Trierweiler Sampaio de Oliveira Corrêa, HEMOES, State Center of Hemotherapy and Hematology Marcos Daniel Santos, Espírito Santo, Brazil.


"Every health professional has the duty to seek knowledge on how to provide the best service. We must provide safe and quality care. The course offers the opportunity of adequate scientific knowledge, the contact with experiences and professions of other regions and countries, through contemporary methodologies and qualified teaching staff.

I recommend to other doctors, health professionals, and health managers". |Carlos Eduardo Nery Paes, Doctor, Grupo Hospitalar Conceição – Porto Alegre - Brazil


The International Course of Quality in Health and Patient Safety provided remarkable moments of knowledge management on the subject, based on the best scientific evidence. I would like to highlight the face-to-face moments for the promotion of group awareness, which facilitated sharing of knowledge and experiences during the periods of e-learning, across the different curricular units. In short, I consider the course excellent to enable health care professionals to get the required knowledge and skills to improve the quality of the patient health and safety". | Nélia Paula Faria, Nurse Director, Local Health Unit Guarda, E.P.E.


"The course allowed to approach the topic of Patient Safety in the current practice and bibliographical references. The teachers affectionately and professionally allowed the gradual evolution of knowledge using Distance Education as a pedagogical dialogue resource. The material provided was of admirable scientific rigor. The face-to-face meetings strengthened the construction of the projects and the people attending this course, making us understand the responsibility we took in working within this area". | Denise Bueno, Coordinator of the Postgraduate Program in Pharmaceutical Assistance, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil



The Walter Mendes Prize, worth € 1,500, is awarded by the National School of Public Health of the NOVA University of Lisbon (ENSP-NOVA) and aims to distinguish the best student(s) from each edition of the International Course on Quality in Health and Patient Safety, conducted in partnership with the National School of Public Health Sérgio Arouca da Fiocruz, Brazil.

The honorary award to Professor Walter Mendes results from the recognition of the importance he had in the creation and development of the International Course on Quality in Patient Health and Safety and its relevance in promoting research and teaching in the area of Patient Quality and Safety in Brazil, Portugal and other countries.

The prize money should be used to support the dissemination of scientific work, participation in an international congress and/or publication in a scientific journal with open access.


Visit the Award Regulations