Postgraduate Masters-Level Diploma in Spine Surgery

Our Spine Surgery Diploma contains all elements of our online Postgraduate Spine Surgery Education Programme. The Programme delivers the fundamental theoretical spine surgery knowledge, which is the prerequisite for accreditation as a spine surgeon specialist. Candidates successfully completing the Programme will be awarded the eccElearning Postgraduate Diploma in Spine Surgery.

The Module Lectures, Tutorials, the Anatomy & Surgical Access Films as well as the Surgical Skill Assessment comprise a high quality, comprehensive spine surgery education programme which will complement the practical surgical training a candidate is engaged in in their hospital setting.

The Spine Surgery Diploma complements your practical training schedule and typically takes 12-18 months.

The Spine Surgery Education Programme  and Spine Surgery Diploma are endorsed by the European Spine Journal. All Lectures are CME accredited by the EACCME.

See if you qualify for a Bursary or Educational Grant of up to 50% - Register for our Spine Surgery Educational Bursaries and Grants.

CME Credits: 540 CME credits available

Duration: 2 Years Access

Tuition language: English

Spine Surgery Diploma Course Structure: 180 online Spine Lectures in 9 Modules. There are 9 Module examinations, 8 Live Tutorial Events, 16 Anatomy and Surgical Access Films, 4200 downloadable references included and a Surgical Skills Assessment


DOI: 10.28962/01.1.001

Editor: Prof Max Aebi

What you will cover in the Spine Surgery Diploma

This Spine Surgery Diploma contains 180 online spine surgery Lectures in 9 Modules, covering the full range of spine surgery knowledge.

The Spine Modules are each focused on a specific subject matter:

Each Spine Surgery Lecture has an Assessment and each Module has an Examination that must be passed to be awarded the Spine Surgery Diploma.

There are also Live Tutorial Events for each Module except Basic Science. These enable you to apply the theoretical knowledge gained to real-life cases under the guidance of an experienced spine surgeon.

Additionally, 16 Anatomy and Surgical Access Films allow you to view surgical procedures from the surgeon’s perspective with a full expert narration.

The final component of the Spine Surgery Diploma is the Surgical Skills Assessment. Here you perform a surgical procedure under the observation of an experienced spine surgeon and receive their personal evaluation of your performance.

Learning Objectives of the Spine Surgery Diploma

  1. Enabling the candidate to cover the whole field of spine surgery through the guidance of basic knowledge lectures given by experts in the field by means of an “interactive textbook”.
  2. Enabling the candidate to access pre-selected additional knowledge resources to enhance his/her knowledge and skills in the field of spine surgery beyond the basic knowledge.
  3. Applying and widening the theoretical knowledge, through interactive face to face tutorials with senior experts.
  4. Mastering the anatomy relevant to the various surgical accesses used in spine surgery
  5. Enabling the candidate to analyse and accurately diagnose spinal disorders and propose appropriate and effective treatments
  6. Enabling the candidate to choose and apply the correct patient outcome tools for appropriate follow up
  7. Learn from a personal surgical skills assessment

Target Groups

Spine Fellows

and trainees studying at fellowship level in Orthopaedic or Neurosurgical services

Orthopaedic and 
Neurosurgical Residents

who wish to deepen their specialist knowledge

Non surgical spine specialists

interested in expanding their spine knowledge

Logos of Endorsed by European Spine Journal, CME Accredited by EACCME, Supported by Spine and Open Operating Theatre

Included in the Spine Surgery Diploma

Lecture Presentations - Spine Surgery Diploma

180 Online Spine Surgery Lecture Presentations

Each created and narrated by one of our 140 world-class spine surgery faculty.

Lecture Quizzes and Assessments - Spine Surgery Diploma

358 Lecture Quizzes and Assessments

Check your knowledge before each Lecture with the Pre-Learning Quiz, and confirm your improvement afterwards with the Lecture Assessment. All are in online Multiple-Choice Question format, with results instantly available.

Downloadable References (Book Chapters, Journal Articles etc) - Spine Surgery Diploma

4200 Downloadable References

Articles from European Spine Journal, Spine, and The Spine Journal etc. Book chapters from major publishers. This evidence base is presented in the Lecture, in context and is instantly available for optimal learning efficiency.

Surgical Films - Spine Surgery Diploma

16 Anatomy and Surgical Access Films

View surgical procedures from structured, broadcast-quality films, viewed from the surgeon’s perspective and with a full expert narration.

Live Tutorial Events - Spine Surgery Diploma

8 Live Tutorial Events

Apply the knowledge gained in the Lectures to real-life cases under the guidance of an experienced spine surgeon. Available either as an attended group event, or as a one-on-one online session.

Module Examinations - Spine Surgery Diploma

9 Module Examinations

All Module Exams are hour-long online Multiple-Choice Question format Examinations covering all the material from their Module. Each Module is the equivalent of a Specialist Certificate.

Surgical Skills Assessment - Spine Surgery Diploma

Surgical Skills Assessment

Perform a surgical procedure under the observation of an experienced spine surgeon and receive their personal evaluation of your performance.

540 CME Credits - Spine Surgery Diploma

540 CME Credits

CME Credits (EACCME) are awarded for each individual Lecture, subject to passing the Lecture Assessment. EACCME credits can be converted into an equivalent number of American Medical Association PRA Category 1 Credits.

2 Years Access to Materials - Spine Surgery Diploma

2 Years Access

Access to all the Lectures, Modules, Films, References and Assessments is available to you for two years from the time you activate the course.

Diploma Editor-in-Chief

Prof Max Aebi - Spine Surgery Faculty - eccElearning


  • Professor Emeritus Orthopaedic Surgery, McGill University, Montreal (CND) and University of Bern (CH)
  • Member of the European Academy of Science
  • Deputy Editor Web-based Education, European Spine Journal
  • "Das Rückenzentrum" at Salem-Spital Hirslanden, Bern (CH)

eccElearning Participation

Coordinating Editor



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Postgraduate Diploma in Spine Surgery

  • 540 CME Credits
  • 24 Months Access
  • 180 Online Spine Lectures
  • Pre- and Post-Learning Assessments
  • 4200 Downloadable additional learning materials
  • 8 Live Tutorial Events
  • 9 Module Examinations
  • 16 Anatomy and Surgical Access Films

See if you qualify for a Bursary or Educational Grant of up to 50% - Register for our Spine Surgery Educational Bursaries and Grants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the eccElearning Spine Surgery Diploma like?

A: Our Postgraduate Diploma in Spine Surgery is a comprehensive programme of 180 online spine surgery Lectures in 9 Modules, with 4200 downloadable references, 16 Anatomy and Surgical Access Films, 9 Module Examinations, 8 Live Event Tutorials and a Surgical Skills Assessment. It gives you the complete range of spine surgery topics that you will encounter as a practising spine surgeon.

Q: What is an eccElearning Programme Module like?

A: A typical Module consists of 10-25 online spine surgery Lectures. Together they form a structured comprehensive coverage of the knowledge required for the Module topic. There are 9 Modules in total for the course.

Each Module has a Tutorial involving case studies and an examination, which must be passed to gain accreditation.

Q: Can I try before I buy?

A: Yes, once registration is completed, you can activate our Trial Demo Lecture. This trial contains one complete Lecture, including Lecture Presentation and access to all Learning Materials for that Lecture. Access to further Lectures requires enrolment on either the Programme or a Module.

Q: How long does it take to attain the eccElearning Diploma?

A: The Postgraduate Diploma in Spine Surgery available for 24 months after their initial enrolment on the Diploma. Expected completion time for most Students is 12-18 Months. The candidate needs to pass all Lecture Assessments and Module Examinations, pass all Module Tutorial Events, view all Anatomy and Surgical Access Films, and Pass the Surgical Skills Assessment in order to be awarded the Diploma.

Q: What is an eccElearning Tutorial like?

A: In a Module Tutorial, a group of up to 30 candidates who have progressed through a Module meet in a suitable location and work together under the guidance of an expert spine surgeon. The expert introduces a case complete with usual history and relevant imaging data.

The candidates work in groups to analyse the case using knowledge acquired during the online Module Lectures, and recommend a course of treatment. The group spokesperson will present their recommendations to the whole assembly and a discussion then follows under the moderation of the expert surgeon. Normally 8 cases are analysed, presented and discussed in a single Tutorial. The purpose of the Tutorial is to apply knowledge gained in the online course to real cases in a supportive and scientifically rigorous environment.

Candidates are invited to prepare a case of their own choosing for analysis and discussion at a Tutorial. Such cases must be prepared to a standard case template and submitted for consideration for inclusion in advance of the Tutorial. Inclusion of cases will be competitive and limited to a maximum of 2 cases per Tutorial.

Q: Do I have to attend the Tutorial in person?

A: No. Although Tutorials are usually arranged as an attended group Tutorial, it is possible to arrange for online Tutorials on a one-to-one basis. For more information on this option, contact us.

Q: Can I enrol in any Tutorial at any time?

A: No. Attendance at a Module Tutorial is restricted to those candidates who have enrolled on and completed the relevant Module. This is to ensure that the analysis, presentation and discussion of the Tutorial cases are conducted by candidates who have attained the same minimum standard.

Q: When and where are Tutorials held?

A: A Module Tutorial is a single day event located in a suitable meeting place designed for easy access, like an airport or city centre hotel. The Tutorials are scheduled in locations in response to demand.

Q: What is an eccElearning Lecture like?

A: Each spine surgery Lecture is viewed online in video format and lasts 20-45 minutes. The Lecture is created and narrated by one of our 140 world-class faculty, and is accompanied by a dynamic transcript.

The Lectures also contain a rich complement of relevant additional learning resources, book chapters, research papers, surgical videos, master lecture videos, case reports, review articles, etc.

They also have pre- and post- learning assessments that must be completed for CME Credits to be awarded.

Q: What kind of credits do I get from eccElearning Modules and Lectures?

A: All eccElearning Lectures are CME accredited by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME), of the Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes (UEMS). They are awarded on successful completion of each Lecture Assessment. EACCME credits can be converted into an equivalent number of American Medical Association PRA Category 1 Credits, so you can be sure the qualification is recognised internationally. eccElearning is also endorsed by the European Spine Journal

Q: How much time will a Lecture take?

A: Lecture presentations typically take 20-45 minutes to run. However, candidates are required to review the compulsory and recommended additional learning resources contained within the Lecture. The time taken to view the Lecture and review the additional resources is in the range 3-8 hours per Lecture. The recommended time to complete each Lecture is given in the Lecture description section.

Q: Are there deadlines?

A: If a candidate is purchases the full course, all content is available for 24 months from first accessing and viewing a lecture. In order to be awarded the diploma, the candidate needs to complete all Module Examinations and pass the Surgical Skills Assessment within this time.

If a candidate is purchasing the course module-by-module, via the flexible payment option, then each Module is available for 4 months. In order to pass a Module, all Lecture Assessments must be passed, the Module Tutorial attended and the Module Examination passed.

Each Module Tutorial is usually scheduled 4 times a year, and candidates must ensure they have completed all of the Module Lecture exams in advance of attending the associated Module Tutorial.

Q: How can I get the most out of the eccElearning platform?

A: The ecceLearning platform, comprising the 9 Modules, 8 Module Tutorials, 16 Anatomy and Surgical Access Films and Surgical Skills Assessment, constitutes a comprehensive spine surgery education course. It is designed to be completed, two Modules at a time, over a period of 12-18 months in conjunction with the candidate’s clinical training.

Candidates will gain the most benefit from the programme by regular review of previous lectures and modules, reading all the  downloadable reference materials, contacting eccElearning  for clarifications when required and active participation in the Tutorials.

Q: Is there a final exam?

A: Each Module has a multiple-choice Examination which candidates must take on a Module Tutorial day. They must pass the Examination to finish the Module and gain accreditation. Once all the Module Examinations have been passed, there is a Surgical Skills Assessment that must be completed in order to be awarded the Diploma.