Edition 3: September 2018

SIF Project newsletter | September 2018

It has been a busy time for the SIF Project Management team as we come toward the end of the project. Much has been achieved. Working closely with many organisations and individuals the focus of the project has supported us coming together to work on the future of Australian IPE/IPCP. In what follows, we reintroduce the aims and expected outcomes of the project, describe how the project has progressed and recent activity. Finally, we provide detail as to what will be occurring as the SIF Project ends in December this year. We are confident that we will be able to hand over to the first Australian ‘National Interprofessional Advisory Group’ – see below. There is much to say about how the National Advisory Group and other parts of the broader national IPE governance and development system will work. We will address this in further updates that will be available later this year.

Prior to the project closing, we will be back with a final progress update and newsletter. What follows below describes our journey from the project’s commencement at the end of 2016, until mid-September 2018.

In this newsletter:


Revisiting the SIF Project aims and approach

  • The SIF focus targets the creation of system wide conditions that will enable and support the further development of Australian health professional ‘interprofessional education’ (IPE)
  • The overarching goal of SIF is to establish an ‘Australian interprofessional educational governance and development framework and system’ – a framework and system that will enable and support the development of a national health workforce with well-developed ‘interprofessional and collaborative practice’ (IPCP) capabilities (see image below).
  • To achieve this goal, SIF is working in partnership with key peak bodies drawn from all relevant sectors – health professional education, health services provision, the health professions, health consumers, the national health professional registration and accreditation system, health workforce, safety and quality, and more broadly, government and non-government bodies involved with health and health workforce policy development
  • The development methodology used to achieve this goal has been designed to be nationally focused, inclusive, co-productive and partnership based.


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What are the expected outcomes of the SIF initiative? 

  • The design and implementation of a national cross-sector, all of professions and enduring approach to the development of IPE as an essential element of Australian health professional education, and IPCP as an essential element of an effective national health workforce.
  • The implementation of a national IPE governance and development framework.
  • A consensus based approach to the adoption of IPCP and IPEC standards as part of the national registration and accreditation system.
  • The establishment of a regional IPE knowledge repository and networking hub.
  • The development of a national report with practical guidance on the importance, role and development of national and local IPE governance.
  • A national IPE development workplan.

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Recent project activities

National IPE leadershipProgressing element one in governance and development framework.Establishing a collaboration

As reported in the last newsletter, a national IPE round table was held to collectively work through and sign-off on several key issues related to the purpose, aims and methodology of a national and system wide approach to the development of Australian IPE. A report from the event can be accessed on the SIF Project website.

One of the most significant outcomes from the day was regarding the next stages of design and implementation work being undertaken by a ‘Collaboration’ comprised of a small number of key cross-sector peak bodies. It was agreed that the Collaboration would auspice the development of a more broadly based ‘National IPE Advisory Group’ – a group whose membership would include representatives of key bodies and individuals with high levels of IPE and IPCP expertise. Please note, we had previously talked about a national IPE leadership body being titled, an ‘IPE Council’. As we have worked with a large number of stakeholders the term ‘Council’ seemed less and less meaningful given the role that was being shaped. The name now being used is a ‘National Advisory Group’. We will elaborate on this in detail in our final update and a report from the project team. To date, five peak bodies are working with the SIF project to finalise the design and implementation details of the National IPE Advisory Group and the Collaboration.

Organisations participating in the above discussions are (in alphabetical order):

  • Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators
  • Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
  • Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
  • Consumers Health Forum of Australia

What will the National IPE Advisory Group and supporting collaboration of national peak bodies deliver?

The operation of the National IPE Advisory Group, working with and reporting to the Collaboration organisations, will, for the first time in Australia, provide a national mechanism through which the development of Australian IPE could be collectively shaped and then integrated in a systemic way into the development of health professional education and health practice and policy.

Establishing an IPE networking and resource website

Progressing element two in governance and development framework.

Led by the Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE) and the Australasian Interprofessional Practice and Education Network (AIPPEN), the project is working on the design and implementation of an Australasian web based IPE/IPCP knowledge database and networking hub — a new regional resource.

It is anticipated that the networking hub will allow users to create a profile detailing their work in IPE/IPCP, find other people via a directory search function, create communities of practice through the use of public discussion forums or closed private groups, as well as upload and promote user generated events.

We expect that the website will be launched in January 2019.

Governance work

Progressing element three in governance and development framework.

How we organise, build and govern IPE within and across higher education and health — nationally and internationally — has received little attention. We are working to develop a resource that will assist individuals and organisations in this critical area.

A systematic review of literature has been undertaken. A report of the findings, as well as a discussion and recommendations, will be made available in January 2019.

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Recent SIF project presentations

HETI Health Education in Practice Symposium | May 2018 | Sydney, Australia

Presented by Professor Jill Thistlethwaite and Associate Professor Roger Dunston

The NSW Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) hosted a Health Education in Practice Symposium, held in Sydney on the 7-8th May. This provided an important opportunity for two members of the SIF Project, Professor Jill Thistlethwaite and Associate Professor Roger Dunston, to present on the development and current status of the project. Their presentation, titled ‘Embedding interprofessional education in a uni-professional world’, is available to view on the SIF Project website.

The symposium was a rich event with many diverse presentations. What stood out from many of the presentations and discussions, was a shared interest in the development of interprofessional, collaborative and team based approaches in both education and practice.

One important outcome of the meeting will see the SIF Project and HETI talking further about possible ways to collaborate around the development of interprofessional approaches that span higher education into practice.

6th Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium | April 2018 | Canberra, Australia

Presented by Associate Professor Monica Moran

Associate Professor Monica Moran, member of the SIF Project Management Team, recently presented at the 6th Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium. The event was held in Canberra from the 11 – 12 April. A/Prof. Moran’s presentation titled ‘Building national capability in interprofessional education and practice: learning from Australian research’, is now available to view on the SIF Project website.

This research symposium was characterised by a small number of streams (three per session) which resulted in strong audience numbers in each session. There was a lot of interest in the SIF Project, with A/Prof. Moran’s session being attended by approximately 35 people participants.

Comments from the audience regarding need for further work included:

  • The need to include communities (service recipients and service co-designers) in design and delivery of interprofessional models of service particularly in rural/remote communities.
  • The gap in our understanding regarding the needs of communities in terms of the best health workforce mix of professions to deliver best practice services – we do not yet have a way of mapping this from an interprofessional perspective.
Associate Professor Monica Moran with Associate Professor Anthony (Tony) Smith from the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health


These ideas give us much food for thought and opportunities for collaboration in our interprofessional work as rural teams which are so often fertile locations for interprofessionalism.

Overall a number of the keynote presentations of the conference presentations used big data to describe health and service delivery trends over the past 20 years particularly for chronic diseases. The new national Rural Health Commissioner Emeritus Professor Paul Worley, who was appointed as Australia’s first National Rural Health Commissioner on 11 November 2017, delivered an opening important address where he started to unpack plans for a national rural health workforce underpinned on principles of rural generalism, cultural safety and place.

Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Health Educators conference  | July 2018 | Hobart, Australia

Symposium presented by Associate Professor Monica Moran, Professor Maree O’Keefe, Professor Gary Rogers,  Professor Carole Steketee and Tagrid Yassine.

The SIF Project team presented a symposium at the 2018 ANZHAPE conference in Hobart. The symposium was titled ‘Sustaining interprofessional education in a uni-professional environment’. The presentation can be accessed on the SIF Project website.

The conference was a success with over 350 delegates in attendance. There was a strong interprofessional theme throughout the conference program. We look forward to the next conference in Canberra in 2019. Please visit the ANZHAPE website for more information.

Seminars at the University of Melbourne | August 2018 | Melbourne, Australia

Presented by Professor Dawn Forman and Keryn Bolte

We recently took to opportunity to deliver two leadership development seminars and two SIF Project seminars to colleagues at the University of Melbourne. These seminars were kindly organised and co presented by Dawn Forman for the SIF Project Management Team and Keryn Bolte from the Department of Rural Health (https://medicine.unimelb.edu.au/school-structure/rural-health) and were presented to around 100 colleagues including researchers and supervisors from the department of rural health, executive and health service colleagues from North East Health plus the cross university Work Integrated Learning Committee of the University of Melbourne.

The Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is an umbrella term that is used to describe a variety of learning activities, experiences, approaches and strategies which integrate academic theory with authentic real-world work experiences. This can include internships, work placements, community engagement opportunities, industry based learning and work experience. WIL represents the engagement between University staff, students and industry partners working together to enhance a learning journey which benefits all parties.

The seminars were well received and feedback to the SIF Project Management Team included:

  • Could students be included in the consortium/council?
  • Could the governance system dovetail with existing systems eg (BPCLE: Best Practice Clinical Learning Environment, Victorian Dept of Health public health service funding)
  • Could staff please be notified as soon as the knowledge repository is available?
  • The curriculum development model would be useful to other WIL programmes particularly engineering
  • It may be helpful to include more competencies relating to the encouragement of encouraging social and cultural equity.
  • Could we make a request for assessment tools for IPE on the Knowledge repository.
A few of the wonderful staff of the Department of Rural Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne. Kylie Boscolo (Education Coordinator), Keryn Bolte, Prof. Dawn Forman and Prof. Lisa Bourke (Director of the University Dept of Rural Health)


Inspiring Health Service and University colleagues: Margaret Bennett (Chief Executive Officer, North East Health), Dawn, Jacqui Verdon (Acting Director Education and Research) and Keryn.


This piece was written by Professor Dawn Forman and Keryn Bolte.

All Together Better Health IX | September 2018 | Auckland, New Zealand

Pre-Conference workshop facilitated by Associate Professor Roger Dunston, Professor Dawn Forman, Professor Gary Rogers and Tagrid Yassine.

Our preconference workshop, titled ‘Sustaining Interprofessional Education in a Uni – Professional Environment: A Focus on Work Occurring within the Australian Context’, was well attended with around 40 delegates in attendance. The presentation from the workshop can be accessed on the SIF Project website.

Dawn started the workshop with general introductions and gathered information about what the delegates were most interested to gain from the workshop. The general queries were with regard to:

  • Interprofessional capabilities
  • Interprofessional curriculum development
  • Interprofessional facilitation
  • Sharing of ‘Good Practice’
  • Professional/Interprofessional Accreditation
  • Governance and Organisational arrangements
For a detailed gallery captions, please visit the SIF Project website.

In summarising the projects which had led to the Securing and Interprofessional Future Project -SIF (as listed below) most of these objectives were covered prior to the coffee break and the audience were asked to consider the 4D curriculum framework and how this would work in their organisation, teaching learning and assessment considerations and how the competencies/capabilities could be measured and recorded.

  • Interprofessional health education in Australia: The way forward (2009)
  • Interprofessional Health Education: a literature review, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney (2011)
  • Interprofessional education for health professionals in Western Australia: Perspectives and activity (2013)
  • Interprofessional Education in Health: a national audit (2014) (contained in-)
  • Curriculum Renewal for Interprofessional Education in Health (2014)
  • Work based assessment of teamwork: an interprofessional approach (2015)
  • Curriculum Renewal in Interprofessional Education in Health: Establishing Leadership and Capacity (2016)
  • SIF Project submission to the COAG, Accreditation Systems review (2017)

All reports can be accessed on the SIF Project website.

Many examples of interprofessional delivery were provided by the audience and as many of these had been implemented at Griffiths University, Gary was able to indicate how colleagues had collaborated with local services in ensuring practice placements as well as theoretical input was being integrated into the curriculum. Dawn also provided examples from Curtin University and the University of Derby.

After coffee, Roger and Tagrid led the discussion with regard to what had been achieved in the SIF project to date. Outlining the response which had been made to the Woods (2018) accreditation review and the four elements of the governance framework (image provided in first section of this newsletter).

Roger and Tagrid outlined how this was a key development for Australia and that the Project Management Team together with the Project Reference Group had managed to make great progress on establishing each of the 4 elements. The project is now on track to conclude by December 2018 when it is hoped that an initial ‘Collaboration’ will be in place will be in place prior to the National IPE Advisory Group being established.


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Visit by Professor John Gilbert to the University of Technology Sydney

In August 2018, Emeritus Professor John Gilbert, expert and pioneer in interprofessional education, visited the University of Technology Sydney for a series of presentations. Prior to John delivering a keynote address at the ‘All Together Better Health IX’ conference in Auckland, we were privileged to host John at the University of Technology Sydney – one of the many universities where john holds an adjunct position.

John delivered two very successful public presentations, one talk co-presented by Associate Professor Nola Ries, from the Faculty of Law at UTS.  John also participated in a number of smaller meetings focused on the development of IPE at UTS.

The SIF Project and the faculties of Health; Arts and Social Sciences; together with the Graduate School of Health, auspiced the event. The details of the two public presentations are provided below.

Public presentation | Enhancing patient safety – the relationship between IPE/IPCP and patient safety | Thursday the 30th of August

Presented by Professor John Gilbert and Associate Professor Nola Ries

Details about this presentation, along with the PPT presentation, can be accessed on the SIF Project website.

Workshop | Building the organisational and educational conditions to support the development of IPE and IPCP

Presented by Professor John Gilbert

Details about this workshop, along with the PPT presentation, can be accessed on the SIF Project website.

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Tribute to Professor Scott Reeves

It is with great sadness that we inform our interprofessional colleagues of the sudden death of Professor Scott Reeves on May 4th.  Scott has been a colleague, friend, collaborator and expert for the interprofessional community over the last several decades. He has been, and will continue to be, well-known globally as an interprofessional scholar; and he has been editor-in-chief of the Journal of Interprofessional Care since 2010.  With a background as a social scientist, he has been involved in health professional education and health services research for over 20 years.

His most recent position was at Kingston University and St George’s University of London, in the Centre for Health and Social Care Research.  Prior to this he worked in Canada and the USA, following his early career in the UK. Those of us working in this field have cited Scott’s works many, many times over the years – he has authored papers, reports, books, book chapters and a blog, many of which have been translated into several languages – and we have heard him speak in many countries around the globe.

Scott is survived by his wife and 3 sons – our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.Tributes may be left at: https://www.caipe.org/news/professor-scott-reeves

Written by Professor Jill Thistlethwaite

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Did you catch us in…

The Health Advocate magazine

The SIF Project submitted an article to the official magazine of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, The Health Advocate. Check it out here in the April issue. We feature on pages 38 – 39.

The ANZAHPE E-Bulletin

Look out for the brief SIF contribution in the June edition of the ANZAHPE Bulletin.

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Next steps

In the ‘next-steps’ section, we describe the of activity that will be undertaken by the SIF Project Management Team, working in partnership with the Collaboration organisations between mid-September and the end of the project, formally December 2018.

Achieving agreement on the membership and work of the Collaboration organisations. Securing agreement with the collaboration organisations is critical to the future governance, development and sustainability of the broader initiative.

Establishment of a National IPE Advisory Group

As noted above, there is much to say about the proposed formation and role of the National IPE Advisory group. We will return to this issue in our next update.

Regional (Australia/New Zealand) knowledge repository

We will be signing-off on the design, and getting underway with the build of a regional IPE website (knowledge repository and networking hub).

Report on IPE governance

We will be finalising and disseminating a report and guidance on the place and development of national and local IPE governance.

Draft national IPE workplan

A national ‘IPE workplan’ will be finalised and handed to the National IPE Advisory Group. The workplan brings together issues, needs and priorities developed through previous Australian research and development initiatives.

A final SIF Project newsletter, update and report will be distributed and will be available on the SIF Project website.

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Get in touch

E: Roger.Dunston@uts.edu.au E: Tagrid.Yassine@uts.edu.au

Stay connected


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Sent by A/Prof Roger Dunston on behalf of the SIF Project Management Team
Professor Ben Canny, Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators
Professor Adrian Fisher, Victoria University
Professor Dawn Forman, Representing Curtin University (Aus) and the University of Derby (UK) for this project.
Associate Professor Monica Moran, The University of Western Australia
Dr. Matthew Oates, AIPPEN
Professor Maree O’Keefe, The University of Adelaide
Professor Gary Rogers, Griffith University
Professor Carole Steketee, The University of Notre Dame
Tagrid Yassine, The University of Technology Sydney

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