Diabetes Structured Education Programmes

Written on 25/02/2020
Tim Kelly

There are a number of structured education programmes available for patients diagnosed with diabetes.


For Type 2 diabetes the programmes are: XPERT, DESMOND and CODE


If you log onto http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/hl/living/diabetes/Diabetes_Courses/ and you will be able to enrol for the next available XPERT/DESMOND/CODE programme in your area.


X-PERT Ireland

The X-PERT programme is a FREE group diabetes education programme. This award winning programme can help you look after diabetes and your health. You will learn about the up-to-date treatment and management of type 2 diabetes. This programme is delivered by a qualified HSE Community Dietitian.

The course runs over 6 weekly sessions each lasting 2.5 hours in various local community venues several times a year, and includes:

Session 1: What is Diabetes?
Session 2: Healthy Eating and Weight Management,
Session 3: Carbohydrate Awareness
Session 4: Reading Food Labels
Session 5: Possible Complications of Diabetes
Session 6: Summary and future planning

If you wish you may bring along a partner or family member. The X-PERT programme is only suitable for people with a confirmed diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and is available to medical card holders and those without medical cards.  More information on where X-PERT programmes are run along with contact information and application forms to book a place on a local X-PERT programme are available on the HSE X-PERT website.  

To find out whether a local X-PERT programme runs in your area, you can contact your local HSE office, or click here.  

A downloadable application form for X-PERT Ireland is available here


CODE – Community Orientated Diabetes Education

CODE is Community Orientated Diabetes Education for all people with Type 2 diabetes run by Diabetes Ireland in various locations. It is an education programme which supports people with diabetes through group learning and participation. It encourages participants to become confident in their diabetes self care management and aims to improve quality of life through informed decision making. 

For information about where and when CODE sessions are held, contact Diabetes Ireland or email info@diabetes.ie.



Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed (DESMOND)

A structured education programme for patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. It involves six hours of group education, usually delivered over two half-day sessions.  The DESMOND philosophy is based on patient empowerment through education. The DESMOND curriculum includes information about diabetes mellitus and how it is optimally managed, the potential risks associated with having diabetes mellitus and how these can be minimised, glucose self-monitoring, healthy diet and exercise, managing stress and emotional issues and developing a personal plan.

For more information about DESMOND centres in Ireland and where and when DESMOND programmes are held, click here.


For Type 1 diabetes the programmes are:



DAFNE stands for Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating and is a way of managing Type 1 diabetes for adults and provides the skills necessary to estimate the carbohydrate in each meal and to inject the right dose of insulin.  T

The structured teaching programme is delivered to groups of 6-8 participants under the supervision of DAFNE-trained Educators. The DAFNEcourse is about learning from experience. During the week you practice the skills of carbohydrate estimation and insulin adjustment.  Most of the training is built around group work, sharing and comparing experiences with other participants. However, there are opportunities for each person to speak to DAFNE Educators individually.

DAFNE allows people to fit diabetes into their lifestyle, rather than changing their lifestyle to fit in with their diabetes.

More information on the DAFNE programme and to find out where DAFNE centres and programmes are run in Ireland, please click here.



The Berger Programme is a comprehensive diabetes self-care skills course, named after Professor Michael Berger, the eminent Endocrinologist who recognised the value of teaching people how to adjust insulin to match their daily food intake. This programme is designed for people with Type 1 diabetes. People attending this course learn how to adjust their insulin dose depending on their food choice. The course also focuses on enhancing diabetes self-management skills.