Collaborating for Patient Care – Interprofessional Learning for Interprofessional Practice

Domain 4. Accreditation Standards

Domain 8. Stakeholder collaboration



All Forum Members, led by the workshop planning group: Australian Medical Council, Council on Chiropractic Education Australia, Australian Pharmacy Council and Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council


Collaborating for Patient Care – Interprofessional Learning for Interprofessional Practice:

  • Interprofessional Education Workshop: “Collaborating for Patient Care – Interprofessional Learning for Interprofessional Practice”; and
  • Forum Position Statement on Interprofessional Education, defining and communicating agreed key terms and interprofessional


Quality Framework for the Accreditation Function: Domain 4 Accreditation Standards

Quality Framework for the Accreditation Function: Domain 8 Stakeholder Collaboration

Issue addressed

Within the regulatory framework underpinning the Australian health system, interprofessional education is seen by many as an area where accreditation bodies have particular legitimacy and leverage to influence change and bring about improvements. Reflecting this view, the Forum has been looking for:

  1. opportunities to increase cross-profession collaboration and innovation and maximise efficiencies
  2. opportunities to facilitate and support interprofessional learning
  3. opportunities to encourage use of simulated learning environments where appropriate.

Forum Members are also seeking to provide improved clarity to stakeholders, so as to better enable innovators in interprofessional education.

The accreditation standards of many of the accreditation councils include standards and/or graduate outcome statements relating to interprofessional education. For example:

  • The accreditation standards for pharmacy degree programs include the Learning Domain 5; Health care systems and the roles of professionals with an element describing interprofessional communication, teamwork and collaborative decision- making; and
  • The accreditation standards for primary medical programs require:
    • As a graduate outcome: “Describe and respect the roles and expertise of other health care professionals, and demonstrate ability to learn and work effectively as a member of an interprofessional team or other professional group.”, and
    • As a teaching and learning standard: “The medical program ensures that students work with, and learn from and about other health professionals, including experience working and learning in interprofessional ”

Practice introduced or changed

The June 2015 workshop initiated an open stakeholder dialogue on the role accreditation might play in enhancing interprofessional education. The workshop was attended by stakeholders such as health service executives, education providers, academics in the field of interprofessional education, national boards and other accreditation authorities. It explored a common understanding of what is meant by interprofessional education, discussed examples of good interprofessional education and assessment, and examined implications for accreditation functions, with the aim of improving delivery of coordinated interprofessional education between health professions in Australia.

From this the Forum has developed a Position Statement on Interprofessional Education which formalises agreement to a common definition of interprofessional education, (that of the World Health Organisation), and eight shared interprofessional competencies.

Forum members also undertook to flag and share good examples of interprofessional education from their accreditation reports.


The broad support for interprofessional education, shared by regulators, educators and academia, as well as publication of the workshop report and Forum Position Statement has provided strong, consistent messaging for interprofessional education

Individual councils have also reflected the interprofessional competencies in their accreditation processes in various ways. For instance:

The Australian Medical Council has reflected the common definitions as it has reviewed its accreditation standards, and is ensuring the interprofessional competencies are referenced in revised accreditation

Where to go for more information

The workshop report is available on the Forum website at: Workshop Report: Collaborating for Patient Care –

The Forum Position Statement on Interprofessional Education is available at: Position statement – Interprofessional learning

For more information, please contact the Forum Secretariat via email.