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COPCA® - hybrid

New: hybrid course design

COPCA® (abbreviation of COPing with and CAring for Infants with Special Needs) – a family centred program

This module focuses on the planning, implementation and evaluation of family-centred early intervention in infants and toddlers with neuromotor developmental impairments. During the module students will learn how to challenge these infants and toddlers to exhibit active, exploratory and varied motor behaviour with trial-and-error experiences (important foundations for motor learning). Students will be introduced to communication principles applied in coaching (e.g. active listening, asking the right questions) and learn how to accompany families in their everyday lives. COPCA® aims a) to empower whole families in decision-making processes and b) to support the motor capacities of the child so that families can participate optimally with their child in everyday life.
The module can be followed as stand-alone module or as part of the CAS Specialities in Paediatric Physiotherapy (specialising in COPCA®).


At a glance


course certificate, COPCA (5 ECTS)


on request


6 days contact teaching (live or online)


CHF 2'100.00

Comment on costs: 

In case of online participation: additional fee of CHF 75.00
The course material is included in the course fee and provided in electronic form. The purchase of further specific technical literature is optional and at the expense of the student.
Prices are subject to change.


Online - arbitrary
Live, the courses usually take place at the School of Health Professions which is a few minutes walk from the train station.

Zurich School of Health Professions
Katharina-Sulzer-Platz 9
8400 Winterthur

For more detailed information on continuing education in physiotherapy come along to the next information event.

Language of instruction:

  • English
  • English (contact days, individual coaching, peer feedback), German (option for individual coaching, peer feedback)

Objectives and content

Target audience

  • Graduates in physiotherapy from a university of applied sciences or a vocational college
  • Graduates in occupational therapy from a university of applied sciences or a vocal college, experienced and actually working in early intervention


Upon completion of the COPCA® module, students are able to:

  • explain the two basic theoretical components of the COPCA® early intervention programme (family focusing / theory of neuronal group selection) and put them into practice
  • explain to parents how the two basic theoretical components of COPCA® are put into practice: coaching the actively involved family in their everyday lives and challenging the child with neuromotor developmental disorders to develop active and self-produced movement
  • use the COPCA® assessment to observe the characteristics of a family
  • apply the communication principles of coaching (e.g. active listening, ask the right questions)


  • from current practice to COPCA®
  • the coaching approach in COPCA®
  • the neurodevelopmental component of COPCA®
  • the family-centred component of COPCA®: inclusion of the family
  • framework conditions and practical implementation
  • communication in the context of COPCA®
  • demonstration of COPCA® through videos
  • individual coaching and peer feedback on your own COPCA® treatments


The COPCA® module uses blended learning. Blended learning is an integrated learning concept that makes optimal use of the networking options available today via the Internet and the Intranet in combination with traditional learning methods and media in a meaningful learning arrangement.

In case of online participation, contact teaching is provided through an online tool or per live stream.

In addition, during the course of the module 2, coaching sessions (online) will be offered. Each part of contact days comes along with preparative and follow-up assignment.

Enquiries and contact



Dr. Schirin Akhbari Ziegler

Michèle Brülhart

Prof. Dr. Mijna Hadders-Algra

Elena Mitteregger

Patrizia Sonderer

Offered in cooperation with

The curriculum of the COPCA® module was developed in collaboration with the Institute of Developmental Neurology at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of Groningen (Netherlands), in particular with the founders of COPCA® Mrs. Tineke Dirks and Professor MD Mijna Hadders-Algra.


Admission requirements

Information for applicants

Course dates in 2023 (subject to change):
Datas 2023 are being planned and will be published as soon as possible.

General teaching hours:
11.00am - 18.15pm (exceptions are possible)

During the contact days, the language of instruction is English.

Low cost accomodation:
See downloads for the list.

Start Application deadline Registration link
on request on request Application

Downloads and brochure