Lymphoedema Education Benchmark Statements (LEBS)

LEBS for Undergraduate Programmes leading to Professional Healthcare Qualifications

These Lymphoedema Education Benchmark Statements have been developed as a teaching resource under the auspices of the International Lymphoedema Framework, a global umbrella organization, and registered UK charitable body. They have been developed through a process of expert panel consensus. In recognition of the demands on any health professional curriculum guidance and resources are being developed to facilitate their integration without the need for additional teaching sessions.

Subject benchmark statements provide an important external source of reference and guidance for the development and enhancement of courses and programmes enabling learning outcomes to be evaluated against agreed expectations and standards. They are designed to be used flexibly, in conjunction with the requirements set by professional, statutory and regulatory bodies.

  • Leaders of undergraduate programmes of education leading to professional healthcare qualifications in medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, podiatry and in some countries, remedial massage therapy.
  • Educators involved in provision of undergraduate professional education or continuing professional development in relation to lymphoedema or chronic oedema.

The justification for incorporating basic knowledge of lymphoedema into undergraduate curricula is the evidence of:

  • Increasing prevalence of lymphedema and chronic oedema, in which lymphatic impairment is a feature;
  • Growing ‘at risk’ population – elderly, obese, those with limited mobility and various co-morbidities, such as chronic venous disease, some cancers and heart failure;
  • Early identification and intervention improving patient outcomes, quality of life and reducing costs to the health service
  • The role of the lymphatic system and lymphedema being poorly addressed in health professional education curricula.

The LEBS reflect what international consensus indicates that any person with, or at risk of lymphoedema, might reasonably expect from newly qualified health professionals. Their implementation will foster global consistency and governance in relation to lymphoedema education.

LEBS represent the expectations of health professionals at the point of completion of their undergraduate degree and/or registration in their profession. They are intended to reflect basic levels of the following and provide a sound foundation for subsequent learning:

Professional knowledge and understanding

  1. Anatomy and physiology
  2. Pathophysiology of lymphoedema
  3. Recognition of various causes of oedema
  4. Recognition of lymphoedema
  5. Patient education and support needs
  6. Components of treatment

Professional skills and abilities: The newly qualified health care professionals will have generic skills that may be applied to good effect for individuals with, or at risk of, lymphoedema, provided they have a basic understanding of the principles, e.g. in skin care or exercise. No additional treatment or specialist skills are expected at the point of registration. However, any health care professional working with particular high risk groups would be encouraged to develop the appropriate skills for their client group, e.g. specific assessment skills, exploration of information needs and supporting appropriate lifestyle changes.

*Assessment – would be online with multiple attempts possible until correct response and simple feedback to direct when errors made. There would be automatic issue of certificate for correct completion.

Learning outcomes: Specific learning outcomes are associated with each of the LEBS, identifying what would be relevant expectations of students.

Curriculum Area: These are points in most existing curricula to which resources could be linked to enable students to achieve the learning outcomes. A brief rationale/explanation is provided for each on a hyperlink.


Download a printable introduction and overview of the LEBS Statements


Download a dissemination guide for the Lymphoedema Education Benchmark Statements

To discover the learning outcomes, curriculum areas and accompanying resources for each benchmark, please explore the buttons below.