Interprofessional health education in Australia: The way forward (2009)

What these same stakeholders also told us, and what was confirmed by our review of the national and international literature, is that current approaches to IPE within the Australian higher education sector are neither sustainable, nor will they be successful in building a national health workforce that is equipped to utilise collaborative and team-based models to address contemporary health care challenges.

To bridge the gap between what is required nationally and what is actually occurring, the proposal initially identified from stakeholder interviews and the literature, eight recommendations for action that would establish the research and development directions required for building an Australian health workforce with well developed IPP and IPL capabilities. These recommendations, listed in Appendix 1, were then widely circulated for comment and reaction. Respondents gave strong support to all of these recommendations but also identified clear priorities and made suggestions for implementation.

Working with the findings of the national consultation, we have refined those recommendations to establish an agenda for national development. However, what has been less well specified and what, we believe, is an urgent matter for national and local consideration, is the identification of appropriate mechanisms and processes through which this national agenda can be progressed. This is the challenge of moving from conceptualisation to successful national development.

The national agenda identifies the need for development in four interrelated areas:

  • informing and resourcing curriculum development
  • embedding IPP as a core component of health professional practice standards and where appropriate, in registration and accreditation processes
  • establishing and implementing a program of research to support and inform development
  • establishing an IPE/IPL/IPP knowledge management system.

Section 6 of the proposal identifies four national development areas, eight associated actions and two enabling strategies.