[Excerpt from author]Abstract One of the mechanisms to improve the health sector throughout the region is the Caribbean Cooperation in Health Initiative (CCH). Approved by CARICOM Heads of Governments in 1986, this initiative focuses regional efforts on eight priority areas of health sector development. One of these areas is human resource development, which includes the training of health workers. This paper seeks to explore the possibilities of distance education for the training of health workers in small states. It reviews two programmes conducted by regional organizations in the context of the limitations of small island states. Theoretical and operational issues connected to the design of the training programmes are also discussed. The paper concludes by reflecting on the role of the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC) in facilitating professional training programmes.