The Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative and the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education have released the Guidance on Developing Quality Interprofessional Education for the Health Professions. It was developed through a multi-year, multi-phase consensus process aimed at supporting the development and implementation of quality interprofessional education (IPE). The goals of the guidance are to facilitate the preparation of health professional students for interprofessional collaborative practice through accreditor collaboration and to provide consensus guidance to enable institutions to develop, implement and evaluate systematic IPE approaches and IPE plans.

As the United States health care system is being redesigned to be a patient-driven process that leverages teams, highlights workforce optimization, increases value, and enhances the use of technology, Health Professions Accreditors will help play a key role in producing professionals that will excel in this system. To this end, the guidance document is intended to foster increased communication and collaboration between health professions educators in the various health professions and to provide guidance on achieving quality IPE.

The document offers consensus terminology and definitions for IPE and related concepts; encourages institutional leaders to develop a systematic approach to foster IPE in their own institutions and, where appropriate, collaborate with academic institutions, health systems, and community partners; suggests a framework for leaders and faculty to develop a plan for quality IPE; and provides opportunities for HPAC member accreditation boards/commissions to utilize the guidance to assess their IPE standards and to train site teams regarding the essential elements of quality IPE.

To date, the boards/commissions of 24 organizations have endorsed the guidance.

“This historic collaboration between 24 endorsing accreditor members of HPAC and the National Center will guide the development of quality IPE in the United States, and by extension, will foster improvements in the health, well-being, and outcomes of patients, populations, providers and learners,” said Barbara F. Brandt, PhD, FNAP, director, National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education.