Interprofessional Collaborative Releases Revised Competencies

New Framework will Impact the Future of Health Professional Education

(August 3, 2016) Last month the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) announced the release of an updated version of the Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, which will have a far-reaching impact on how health and partner professionals are educated and how they practice. First published in 2011, the IPEC core competency document has helped to frame the national dialogue on the need for interprofessional education and practice as a catalyst for improving team-based patient care and enhancing population health outcomes.

“To deliver on the promise of interprofessional education and practice to improve health of individuals and populations as well as reduce health disparities, IPEC will work to ensure that this framework is central in the education of all health and partnering professionals,” said Harrison C. Spencer, MD, MPH, CPH, IPEC Board Chair and President and CEO, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. "Consistently implementing these new competencies will bring us all closer to the health system of the future we want to create together.”  

“When our health professions students have meaningful interactions and shared clinical experiences during their education process, they simply work better together,” said Richard W. Valachovic, DMD, MPH, President of IPEC and President and CEO of the American Dental Education Association. “These new core competencies will inform curricula that ensure the entire health care team knows how to communicate with one another and how to collaborate to serve patients more effectively. Everybody wins.”

Established in 2009, IPEC is a coalition of 15 leading health professions associations and partner organizations committed to fostering team-based education and practice. IPEC members share a common view that interprofessional education and collaborative practice are essential to providing safe, high-quality, accessible, and patient-centered care and improved population health outcomes. Achieving that vision requires the continuous development of interprofessional competencies by health and partnering professional students as an integral part of the learning process.

The IPEC Board of Directors called for a revision of the 2011 Core Competencies to achieve three goals:

  • Reaffirm the value and impact of the core competencies and sub-competencies;
  • Organize the competencies within a singular domain of Interprofessional Collaboration, encompassing the topics of values and ethics, roles and responsibilities, interprofessional communication, and teams and teamwork; and
  • Broaden the competencies to better achieve the Triple Aim (improve the patient experience of care, improve the health of populations, and reduce the per capita cost of health care).

In the five years since the original document’s release, the IPEC core competencies have been widely disseminated throughout the health professions and embedded into both curriculum and accreditation standards. More than 1,400 faculty members from across health disciplines and partnering professions have participated in IPEC institutes, which facilitate implementation of the competencies. The 2011 report has been widely cited throughout the health professions’ literature, translated into multiple languages, and reprinted in part and in whole in over a dozen educational textbooks. For these reasons, the original document will remain available on the IPEC website for reference.

To download the 2016 update of IPEC’s Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, see


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