Given the central importance of accreditation for establishing the legitimacy, credibility and necessity for areas of practice and education to be included in core curriculum, the timing of the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) ‘Independent Review of Accreditation Systems with the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health professionals’ (the ASR), could not have been better. From March 2017 onwards, the SIF project team members met with members of the ASR. As did many other organisations, we authored and submitted our views on Australian accreditation and the future of IPE.
Our submission drew on research and consultations conducted over the last decade. We also drew on the experience of colleagues internationally. In reviewing the submission Richard Pitt, Chair, of the Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE) – United Kingdom – and Visiting Professor Tokyo Metropolitan University, commented: “This is a significant development for Australia to ensure embedding interprofessional education and collaborative practice in the accreditation system. I commend the recommendations the SIF Report makes to the Australian accreditation system and the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. CAIPE welcomes this contribution to the global development of interprofessional collaborative learning and practice.”
Our submission – five recommendations:
Our submission to the ASR was built around five recommendations:
- IPE standards and accreditation to be adopted as part of the Australian accreditation system. This overarching recommendation is to be given effect through the following:
- All accredited professions adopt common interprofessional education standards.
- All accredited professions adopt a common approach to conducting interprofessional education accreditation.
- The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) supports the development of resources, tools and guidelines specifically aimed at enabling the development and successful implementation of IPE and accreditation.
- NRAS establishes arrangements that link the work of a future interprofessional education Council with the work of the national accreditation system.
The ASR draft report included an extensive and extremely positive discussion as to the importance and further development of Australian IPE. The work of the SIF Project also received positive comment.
As far as we are aware, the positive comments and strong recommendations as to the inclusion of IPCP and IPE standards in all curricula and accreditation standards, is the first time that such comments have been made at the national level in such an important COAG initiated review.
The ASR final report is now with COAG Health Ministers. Whichever way the COAG response is developed, we believe a new level of positive recognition has been accorded to IPE and IPCP and their role in ensuring the safety, quality, patient centredness and sustainability of the Australian health system.