Paediatric Epilepsy Training (PET)

Paediatric Epilepsy Training (PET) is a series of 1 and 2-day courses developed by the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) in response to concerns about standards of care for children with epilepsy in the UK. PET has been running in the UK since 2005 and is now being established worldwide.

PET is aimed at paediatricians, medical officers and emergency department professionals. It aims to improve the diagnosis of epileptic and non-epileptic events; improve the standard of care; and raise awareness of when to liaise with a Paediatric Neurologist, a children’s epilepsy expert.

The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) endorses PET. The ILAE identified PET as an effective, sustainable format to teach safe standard epilepsy practice to clinicians across all levels of healthcare. PET has been critically reviewed by Paediatric Neurologists around the world who have concluded that this course teaches “safe standard epilepsy practice to clinicians, applicable to children in all countries” and are “sensible, practical and pragmatic”.

PET courses

PET courses are running worldwide and every PET course is listed on this website. 

  • PET1:  1-day course recommended for all doctors and nurses who contribute to the initial or ongoing care of a child experiencing paroxysmal disorders in the acute and community setting.
  • PET2:  2-day course covers general aspects of epilepsy (history taking, differential diagnosis, investigation etc) and concentrating on epilepsies in infants and young children. Recommended for all doctors and nurses who care for young children with epilepsies.
  • PET3:  2-day course concentrating on the epilepsies presenting in older children and adolescents and transition to adult services. Recommended for all doctors and nurses who care for older children, adolescents and young adults with epilepsy.

Each PET course has short didactic lectures and interactive small-group workshops. There are many opportunities within each course to consider difficult cases, share ‘experience in the real world’, and debate ‘the evidence’. The size of workshops is limited to 8 attendees, to ensure everyone is able to contribute and gain the most from the learning experience.

Each course has standardised course materials that are taught to the same high standard worldwide by a trained local faculty of experienced paediatric neurologists and paediatricians with an expertise in epilepsy. Pre-course reading, and a course handbook are provided to attendees.

PET is evidence based, refers to internationally recognised guidelines, and provide a consensus view for paediatricians. Content is internationally peer reviewed. Course materials are updated every 3-years. PET1 was last updated in March 2023 and PET2/3 was last updated in 2023. It is recommended that the courses are completed in sequence (as each course presumes prior knowledge from the previous one) and are repeated every 5 years. Alternative to repeating the course every 5 years, the newly developed PET4ward course has been introduced to follow on from PET123 for those wishing to be kept up to date with new and breaking topics in paediatric epilepsy. Anyone wishing to attend the PET4ward course must have attended the PET123 courses.

PET is supplemented by the BPNA Distance Learning Unit 6: Epilepsy & Paroxysmal Disorders for health professionals who would like to learn more.


Feedback Learning and Outcomes: 

Attitudes and practice survey: 

We routinely survey all PET1 attendees worldwide 6-months after attending the course, to record changes in attendees’ attitudes and practice.

PET attendee feedback:

In January 2024, Reducing epilepsy diagnostic and treatment gaps: Standardized paediatric epilepsy training courses for health care professionals was published in the Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology (DMCN). We studied a total of 7528 participants that attended 252 1-day PET courses between 2005 and 2020 in 17 low, middle, and high-income countries, and which gathered data from participants immediately after the course and then 6 months later. Our aim of the study was to evaluate the improvement in knowledge and clinical behaviour among healthcare professionals after attendance at Paediatric Epilepsy Training (PET) courses.

We found:

·    The course had improved their epilepsy diagnosis and management (73%), clinical service (68%), and local epilepsy training (68%).

  • 98% of attendees rated PET courses as excellent or very good
  • Participants demonstrated knowledge gain, answering a significantly higher proportion of questions correctly after the course (88%) compared to before the course (75%) 


·         Over 70% of responders reported improvements in both their history taking and their ability to distinguish between epileptic and non-epileptic seizures.

·         29% reported now using standard treatment guidelines when managing prolonged seizures;

·         27% reported increased requests for an ECG as part of their patients' diagnostic work-up if indicated.

·         Most responders (64%) stated the PET1 course had prompted improvement in their clinical service.

·         Almost one-third of responders reported improvement in the management of prolonged seizures in their hospital;

·         Over half reported using a more structured approach to history taking, integrating the PET multiaxial approach

·         Most responders (68%) reported initiating or improving epilepsy training in their local hospital.  


This was the largest evaluation of a global epilepsy training course with the PET supporting the global reduction in the epilepsy ‘treatment gap’ as promoted by the World Health Organisation.