On International Day of Education, we are pleased to announce the launch of PLATO, the EMCDDA’s new e-learning platform, following a successful six-month pilot phase in 2021. The first e-learning course of 2022 on the new platform kicks off this week (25 January) targeting prevention decision-makers in the substance use field.    

PLATO, a multilingual integrated platform, is designed to facilitate online training, e-learning and discussion through a virtual community of practice (VCP). The pilot phase ran from June to November 2021 and underwent a 360º evaluation in December (1).

Twenty professionals from 10 countries took part in training courses during the pilot phase, including partners from European Neighbourhood Policy countries.

At present, PLATO hosts the European Prevention Curriculum (EUPC), a programme launched in 2019 targeting decision-, opinion- and policy-makers at local or regional level. In future, the platform will also offer training and support to frontline prevention staff and to practitioners and decision-makers in areas such as treatment and harm reduction.

PLATO is intended as a step forward in the agency’s digital transformation and is one of the pioneering outputs of its new customer-centric business model. It will enable faster, broader and virtual access to scientific content, active stakeholder involvement in the production and use of contents and facilitate the sharing of experiences.

The prototype for the PLATO platform was developed through the EU-funded project ASAP.

How does it work?

PLATO can be accessed via the EMCDDA’s Best practice portal for training purposes.

In order to be admitted for a course in PLATO, participants must first complete the first two (of five) EUPC basic modules.

The subsequent three (advanced) modules on science-based prevention can then be followed in a self-directed way via the platform at one’s own pace (video lectures are recorded for catching up later).

Participants who register on the platform will also be able to access a wide range of interactive contents, such as live video-lectures, training materials for self-development, individual and group tasks and exercises.