Outbreak Management

Learn the skills and knowledge required to respond to communicable disease outbreaks and other public health incidents. Register below

30 hours
Face to Face
February/April 2024

2024 Course 1: This course will run one day, per week for four weeks including 7, 14, 21 & 28 February.  Attendance at the course will include online interactive workshops with our Public Health Educators.

2024 Course 2: This course will run from 8th to 12th of April, commencing at noon, and concluding at noon at the University’s Rozelle Campus in Sydney.

About this short course

This course will provide you with a background in effective outbreak response. You will gain the skills and knowledge required to respond to communicable disease outbreaks and other public health incidents.

This includes: the ten steps of outbreak investigations; assessment of public health surveillance data and intelligence; using risk assessment frameworks; applying appropriate epidemiological, environmental and laboratory evidence; risk communication principles; and appropriate interventions to control outbreaks.

Who should do this course?

This short course is a great opportunity for professional development as it was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic response to upskill public health practitioners in outbreak management. This short course has been specially designed for those working within local, state, national or international government, hospital staff, residential care staff, non-government agencies, and emergency response workers. As a participant you will be able to draw on your own experience, both during the workshop and when completing assessment tasks.

Course Structure

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Apply the ten steps of an outbreak investigation to communicable disease outbreaks and other public health incidents.
  • Apply a risk assessment framework to verify the existence of an outbreak by assessing surveillance data and public health intelligence.
  • Apply appropriate epidemiological methods to support outbreak investigations; consolidate the epidemiological results with other evidence obtained during outbreak investigations to determine the source of outbreaks; and recommend appropriate interventions to control outbreaks to prevent further cases.
  • Communicate an outbreak investigation using risk communication principles and appropriate documentation.

This short course equates to 30 hours of learning, delivered as participatory workshops, either face-to-face or virtually, (please refer to the delivery schedule above). The workshop consists of interactive lectures, examples, and activities, where you will have the opportunity to practice the ten steps of outbreak investigation. All workshop materials are provided on the online short course platform.

What you will learn

On successful completion of the Outbreak Management Short  Course, you will be well placed to respond to public health incidents in a variety of settings. You will also have a greater understanding of the context and core principles of responding to communicable disease outbreaks and public health incidents, regardless of your role in response activities.

Apply for credit into the Graduate Certificate of Health Protection or the Master of Public Health upon completion.

Learn from experienced public health practitioners and educators, who played a formative role in preparing Tasmania’s response to COVID19.

Engage in an intensive and participatory learning experience.

Meet your Instructors

Michelle McPherson

Michelle McPherson is a communicable disease epidemiologist with experience working at the state, national and international level. She has worked in several public health settings across Australia, including health departments in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia, as well as the Australian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organization.

Michelle has extensive teaching experience spanning public health and communicable disease epidemiology and has developed and taught workshops in these topics both locally and internationally.

Nicola Stephens

Associate Professor Nicola Stephens is a member of the public health team in the School of Medicine.

Nicola is an epidemiologist with a strong background in public health surveillance and management in health departments across three Australian states, with a focus on communicable diseases, environmental health, data linkage and antimicrobial resistance.

Both Nicola and Michelle are members of the Public Health Team in the School of Medicine at the University of Tasmania and held roles in the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Operations Centre in Tasmania.