Interprofessional Education and Practice at AUT

Welcome to AUT’s Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (IPECP) website. This area is intended to provide a 'one-stop' area for information related to IPECP within the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences.
The Faculty IPECP leadership group aims to lead the advancement of IPECP through education and research and supports a wide range of interprofessional initiatives.

Interprofessional Collaboration (IPC)

IPC occurs when “multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds provide comprehensive services by working with patients, their families, carers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care across settings” (WHO 2010, p. 13).

Interprofessional Education (IPE)

IPE is defined as those activities which enable two or more current or future health professionals to learn with, from, and about one another in order to improve collaboration and the quality of care (CAIPE Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education, 2013).

Interprofessional Learning (IPL)

Interprofessional learning is the result of interprofessional educational activities where current and future professionals learn from, with, and about one another.

Evidence for IPECP

The goal of IPE is to prepare future and existing health practitioners to work collaboratively in health care teams in practice. IPE is gaining impetus within tertiary organisations providing health education internationally. Much of this impetus has stemmed from health policy makers around the world, who have identified the need to consider alternative models of care to improve health systems and health outcomes in response to the growing aging population; the increase in people and communities with complex needs; the impact medical errors are having on the lives of patients and the associated costs to health systems; the worldwide shortage of health care workers; and the demands placed upon organisations in a fiscally constrained environment  (Reeves, Tassone, Parker, Wagner, & Simmons, 2012; WHO, 2010).  IPE has been promoted as a means to enable collaboration in health care practice in order to reduce fragmentation of health services and promote high quality care (Freeth, Hammick, Reeves, Koppel, & Barr, 2005; Margalit et al., 2009; WHO, 1978, 2010).

Interprofessional Competencies

Collaborative practice goes hand in hand with effective interprofessional education. Bainbridge, Nasmith, Orchard and Wood (2010) have identified several interprofessional collaborative competencies which they consider are the required skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours required to be successful and capable practitioners:
  • Patient/client/family/community-centred care
    “A partnership between the team of health providers and a patient where the patient retains control over his/her care and is provided access to the knowledge and skills of team members to arrive at a realistic team-shared plan of care and access to the resources to achieve the plan” (Bainbridge et al, 2010)
  • Team functioning
    “Learners/practitioners understand the principles of team work dynamics and group/team processes to enable effective interprofessional collaboration”.(CIHC Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative, 2010, p. 14)
  • Role clarification
    “Learners/practitioners understand their own role and the roles of those in other professions, and use this knowledge appropriately to establish and achieve patient/client/family and community goals” (CIHC, 2010, p.12)
  • Interprofessional communication
    “Learners/practitioners from different professions, communicate with each other in a collaborative, responsive and responsible manner” (CIHC, 2010, p.16)
  • Collaborative leadership
    “Learners/practitioners understand and can apply leadership principles that support a collaborative practice model” (CIHC, 2010, p.15)
  • Dealing with interprofessional conflict
    “Learners/practitioners actively engage self and others including the patient/client/family, in dealing effectively with interprofessional conflict” (CIHC, 2010, p.17)

While these competencies are being researched and are subject to modification, they provide a starting point for skill development for students. Competencies, which consist of personal qualities, also include the “ongoing development of an integrated set of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and judgments enabling one to effectively perform the activities required in a given occupation or function to the standards expected in knowing how to [practice] in various and complex environments and situations” (CIHC, 2010, p.22).

Model of Interprofessional Education

The provision of relevant, meaningful and timely education is required in order to ensure that students are exposed to other professional’s worldviews, and that there are opportunities to critically reflect on and challenge one’s own attitudes and beliefs and the attitudes and beliefs of others. The University of British Columbia Model of Interprofessional Education as outlined in Charles, Bainbridge, & Gilbert (2010) has considered the students readiness to learn and their level of training in addition to the type of learning that should take place. This model should be viewed as a tool to assist with interprofessional learning by providing a framework from which optimal learning experiences can be developed.  An adapted version of this model has been adopted by AUT Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences. The first stage of the framework is ‘Exposure’ where students are exposed to the roles, contributions and differing perspectives of others and are introduced to the concept of interprofessional collaboration. The second stage is ‘Immersion’, where students begin to apply their knowledge & skills collaboratively with other students. Students at this stage have a greater confidence in their own professional identity and are considered to be more open to the views of others. The third and final stage is ‘Integration’ where students and/or practitioners are able to integrate and adapt their interprofessional knowledge & skills in the practice environment.


AUT Model of Interprofessional Education

Based on the work of Charles et al (2010), The University of British Columbia, The University of Alberta and Health Force Ontario (2009).

Last updated: 08-Jun-2017 1.57pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.