Nurses' knowledge and skill in caring for and educating patients with diabetes is a determining factor in health care outcomes. This report describes DIPRA (DI, diabetes; PRA, practice) - Counselling for Practice: a pilot programme aimed at improving counselling for people with diabetes, that comprises an online study module on patient education and counselling for health care professionals. A survey was undertaken in four partner countries that informed the development of the web-based course. The study module and materials (databank, online lectures, interactive exercises) were developed in English and translated into Estonian, Finnish and Lithuanian, to maximise accessibility for all professionals in the partner countries. The programme is currently being offered on a pilot basis and evaluation is ongoing. Outcomes of the processes and further evaluation will be reported in the future. DIPRA is a unique online resource for health care professionals and students that is based on authentic learning principles, which aims to develop pedagogical and didactical approaches for online learning. The DIPRA programme will be disseminated at regional, national and international levels, and the aim is to include it as a part of the continuation/specialisation studies in all partner organisations and other Erasmus universities. © 2011 FEND. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.