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Director (m/f), MSF Medical Academy

The MSF Medical Academy aims to organise, professionalise and accredit MSF clinical and public health training, in order to raise the quality of care in the field.


There are important gaps and deficiencies in the training of healthcare staff which compromises medical care and puts patients at risk in many countries where MSF operates. Many educational programs ill-prepare healthcare staff for their future jobs, in particular for the specific field conditions in which MSF is active. We aim to address this by establishing an MSF Medical Academy in partnership with universities and professional schools. The MSF Medical Academy will address clinical and public health/organisational competencies, focussing on continuing education, essentially post-graduate but under-graduate where necessary. The target populations are MSF national and international staff and Ministry of Health staff. It will be ‘incubated’ in the Medical Department before being launched as an autonomous structure.

The objectives are threefold:

  1. Raise the quality of MSF operations through increased staff competency
  2. Increase staff attraction and retention by an expansion of the learning and development offer
  3. Boost local capacity during and post MSF intervention by leaving qualified staff in place on departure

The MSF Medical Academy will break three existing MSF paradigms:

  1. MSF clinical training currently relies on the pedagogical competencies of the field/HQ staff and is organised ad hoc to the best of their availability. Medical activities are often, logically, prioritized over training activities, and the high turnover of staff makes it difficult to ensure continuity and the implementation of a long term training strategy. While current knowledge transfer levels are often high, the MSF Medical Academy will institutionalise organised clinical training with dedicated professional resources. To achieve sustainability and to develop an incremental capacity, training of trainers will be essential.
  2. Besides the recent limited emergence of eLearning, MSF learning and development units currently deliver trainings almost exclusively in face-to-face 1 to 2 week classroom format, often in Europe, for a reduced target population. The MSF Medical Academy will offer continuous, on-location, bedside/situational and simulation training for all clinical staff: On-the-job, tutor-supported, learning-by-doing. Helping staff to improve themselves through their own experience. Training activities will be integrated in the project’s core objectives.
  3. Aside from a few exceptions the MSF training offer is currently not accredited by any recognised university. The MSF Medical Academy will aim at offering full accreditation from recognised academic institutions.

In May 2017, the business case was accepted; a shortlist of potential academic partners has been established. The competencies that a Medical Coordinator and Project Medical Referent need to perform their roles have been mapped and pilot projects have been launched in South Sudan & the Central African Republic. Another project will aim to provide regional training for healthcare providers before the opening of a health structure in Sierra Leone.

Job Profile

The MSF Medical Academy Director will:

  • Take the academy from initial pilot to final implementation at scale as an autonomous structure
  • Design the team set-up and the organisational structure
  • Appoint, manage, coach and evaluate the academy’s staff members and define the specific objectives for the different target populations
  • Establish a roadmap to reach these objectives
  • Finalise the partnership strategy and establish memorandums of understanding with key partners
  • Ensure the communication and collaboration with internal as well as external stakeholders and partners.
  • Develop and coordinate the specific partnership with the Learning & Development unit (MSF OCB Human resource department). Explore the synergies with this unit and the potential integration of the L&D in the MSF Medical academy.
  • Report to the Medical Director during the incubation phase. The medical director will report to the steering committee.
  • Ensure general communication within OCB and within the MSF movement, particularly with OCBA as a direct partner
  • When appropriate schedule and define evaluations (internal audit or external evaluations)
  • Manage the academy budget
  • Refine the vision and overall priorities for the academy, propose new objectives or new target populations.

Candidate Profile

Background and experience

  • Minimum 5 years’ experience with Médecins Sans Frontières, with minimum 3 years in the field
  • Experience as a teaching academic in a higher education institution and ideally at management level is a major asset
  • A medical doctor or a nurse/midwife diploma is an asset
  • Experience at project coordination level and mission coordination level is an asset
  • Field experience with other organisations will be taken into account

Skills and capacities

  • Strong leadership profile
  • Proven strategic planning and management experience
  • Experience in change management is an asset
  • Excellent communication skills
  • English is essential, French and Dutch are major assets


  • Flexibility in working hours
  • Availability for regular travel


  • Open ended contract - Based in Brussels
  • Moral commitment of 4 years
  • Full time position in a challenging international environment
  • Hospitalization insurance – Supplementary pension – Canteen – Reimbursement of transport costs (100% public transport)
  • Starting date 01/10/2017 (or earlier if available)

CV and cover letter to be sent at the latest on 15/09/2017 to