IPEC Core Competencies Revision FAQs

The Executive Board adopted a Preamble to the work of revising the core competencies for interprofessional education and collaborative practice. That preamble includes the following assumptions and tenets, which we repeat here, to provide important context for the revision efforts. The Working Group (WG) hopes you find this page helpful in providing additional information on the IPEC Core Competencies Revision.

Guiding Assumptions[1]

The following assumptions undergird IPEC’s interprofessional competencies:

  • Person/patient/family-centered, including advocates for the patient/client    
  • Community/population-oriented
  • Relationship-focused
  • Process-oriented
  • Linkable to learning activities, educational strategies, and integrative assessments that are culturally and developmentally appropriate for the learner
  • Implementable across the learning continuum
  • Sensitive to systems contexts and applicable across practice settings and professions
  • Communicated using common language that is meaningful across the professions
  • Outcomes-driven

Tenets

The forthcoming 2023 competency set is intended to:

  • Build upon the value and impact of IPEC’s original and updated work while reconsidering the competency framework in light of members’ accrediting bodies and partner organizations’ standards and with an eye towards updating the framework to meet current and future learning and practice assets, needs, and settings
  • Refine the competencies to include contributions from new and existing IPEC constituents and additional professions vested in successful interprofessional education for collaborative practice
  • Integrate concepts from the Triple Aim (improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care) with new content from the Quadruple Aim (improving student and provider self-care and well-being) and the Quintuple Aim (advancing health equity), and concepts from One Health, as well as new evidence and constructs from academic, practice, socio-cultural, environmental, workforce, and/or systems changes
  • Recognize variability across and within professions regarding the use and integration of competency-based education and, therefore, strive to produce high-level competencies so different professions and institutions could adopt or adapt the framework most efficiently for their own local use.

Background of the review and revision

Who is IPEC?

The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) launched in 2009 when six national associations of schools of health professions joined to promote and encourage constituent efforts that would advance substantive interprofessional learning experiences. The goal was, and remains, to help prepare future health professionals for enhanced team-based care of patients and improved population health outcomes. The founding members, representing dentistry, nursing, medicine, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and public health, then convened an expert panel of representatives from each of the six IPEC sponsor professions to create core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice, to guide curriculum development across health professions schools.

In February 2016, IPEC opened its membership to nine new members. Between 2017 and 2019, seven additional organizations became IPEC members to bring the current roster to 21 member associations.

What associations belong to IPEC?

See table of IPEC member associations and representative discplines below.

Member Association Discipline(s)
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Nutrition, Dietetics
American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Respiratory Care
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) Osteopathic Medicine
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Pharmacy
American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM) Podiatric Medicine 
American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Veterinary Medicine
American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) Physical Therapy 
American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Dentistry
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Occupational Therapy
American Psychological Association (APA) Psychology
American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology
Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) Library and Information Science
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Medicine
Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) Chiropractic Medicine
Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions (ASAHP) Allied Health
Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) Optometry 
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) Public Health 
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Social Work
National League for Nursing (NLN) Nursing 
Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Physician Assistant

 

What are competencies and how are they being used in health professions education?

Competencies are the integrated enactment of knowledge, skills, and values/attitudes that define the domains of work of a particular health profession applied in specific care contexts.

The IPEC core competencies are designed to:

  1. Create a coordinated effort across the health professions to embed essential content in all health professions education curricula.
  2. Guide professional and institutional curricular development of learning approaches and assessment strategies to achieve productive outcomes.
  3. Provide the foundation for a learning continuum in interprofessional competency development across the professions and the lifelong learning trajectory.
  4. Acknowledge that evaluation and research work will strengthen the scholarship in this area.
  5. Prompt dialogue to evaluate the “fit” between educationally identified core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice and practice needs/demands.
  6. Find opportunities to integrate essential interprofessional education content consistent with current accreditation expectations for each health professions education program.
  7. Offer information to accreditors of educational programs across the health professions that they can use to set common accreditation standards for interprofessional education and to know where to look in institutional settings for examples of implementation of those standards.
  8. Inform professional licensing and credentialing bodies in defining potential testing content for interprofessional collaborative practice.
The Working Group fielded a survey to a representative group of institutions from each IPEC member organization and collected information that included the current uses of the competencies. The key uses of the competencies are:
  • Accreditation requirements
  • Program evaluation
  • Curricular planning in IPE-CP programs
  • Development of class, course of program objectives
  • Other uses have been reported by those giving feedback as a part of the Town Halls and through the Modified Delphi Survey.

What are the IPEC Core Competencies for Interprofessional Education for Collaborative Practice and why are they being reviewed and revised at this time?

The IPEC Core Competencies for Interprofessional Education for Collaborative Practice are four domains that were established with the publication of the original Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice in 2011. These four domains are: Values/ethics for professional practice; roles/responsibilities; Interprofessional communication; and Teams and teamwork. The domains remained the same following the Core Competencies for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice: 2016 Revision, but were expanded to reflect the changes that occurred in the health system between 2011 and 2016, two of the most significant of which were the increased focus on the Triple Aim (improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care; revised to the Quadruple Aim which includes the health of the health care team; and the Quintuple Aim which includes the effect on health equity) and implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010.

In May 2021, the IPEC Board ordered another review and possible revision of the Core Competencies. Key drivers of the 2021-2023 revision include the need to empower the IPE community with the best current evidence and research related to IPE and CP; to regularly conduct a cyclical review on common definitions for competence, competency and the competency framework; and ensure that this framework accurately reflects any changes in research, policy, and practice.

What were the outcomes of the 2016 review of the original 2011 IPEC Core Competencies?

Timing: The review and revision of the Core Competencies started following the expansion of IPEC to 15 members in February 2016 and continued through the remainder of 2016.

Results: The revised Core Competencies and sub-competencies feature the following desired principles: patient and family centered (hereafter termed “patient centered”); community and population oriented; relationship focused; process oriented; linked to learning activities, educational strategies, and behavioral assessments that are developmentally appropriate for the learner; able to be integrated across the learning continuum; sensitive to the systems context and applicable across practice settings; applicable across professions; stated in language common and meaningful across the professions; and outcome driven. The revised competencies were (NOTE: The 2016 updates to the competencies and sub-competencies appear in bold):

Competency 1: Work with individuals of other professions to maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values. (Values/Ethics for Interprofessional Practice)

Competency 2: Use the knowledge of one’s own role and those of other professions to appropriately assess and address the health care needs of patients and to promote and advance the health of populations. (Roles/Responsibilities)

Competency 3: Communicate with patients, families, communities, and professionals in health and other fields in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a team approach to the promotion and maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of disease. (Interprofessional Communication)

Competency 4: Apply relationship-building values and the principles of team dynamics to perform effectively in different team roles to plan, deliver, and evaluate patient/population-centered care and population health programs and policies that are safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable. (Teams and Teamwork)

Process and Milestones of the Current Revision

Who is involved in the revision efforts? How were they selected?

The Core Competencies Working Group comprises a panel of IPE and CP leaders and experts from across the nation, representing over 200 years of combined experience. The WG consists of a total of 23 members from all 21 IPEC member associations, including two active students in health professions programs. Each IPEC member Association used their own process for identifying nominees. Subsequently, the leadership of each member Association provided nominations and completed applications to the IPEC board for selection of one representative of each profession.  A list of the IPEC Core Competencies Revision Working Group representatives can be found here.

The Working Group members joined one of four workstreams as follows:

  1. Gather Feedback and Experiences (whose purpose is to collect feedback from the IPEC community and IP partners throughout the entire effort)

  2. Research and Literature Review (populate and organize the IPE repository in IPEC Connect, analyze published uses of the competencies, incorporate the results of the IPE scoping review, and revisit the results of HPAC DEI survey)

  3. Competency Revisioning (Update the 2016 Core Competencies in an inclusive, participatory manner); and

  4. Report Writing and Editing (Create the working outline for the revised Core Competencies, draft the 2023 Core Competencies Report, incorporate suggested edits based on internal and external recommendations, and revise and finalize the 2023 Core Competencies Revision Report)

The WG will serve as the key functioning unit for the review of evidence and generation of main proposals for the revision of the IPEC Core Competencies and will work alongside an Advisory Group to provide recommendations. After the project team offers their proposals and suggestions, IPEC will work with its member organizations, external collaborators, and communities of interest on eliciting additional input and feedback. The update process is slated to begin in June 2021 with a tentative release in summer/fall 2023.

Who oversees the process of this Core Competencies Revision (CCR)?

The CCR process is being led by members of the IPEC Executive Board, but day-to-day leadership is provided through an eight-member Advisory Group and coordinated by the Associate Director of IPEC, Shelley McKearney ([email protected]).

Project governance pyramid

What is the process for the review and revision? What are the process milestones and when are key dates?

The review process began in 2021 by gathering information, including a survey, to determine stakeholders’ thoughts and attitudes toward, and use of, the 2106 IPEC Core Competencies.  Using this feedback, IPEC Core Competencies Revision Working Group members reviewed outcomes data to provide feedback on suggested revisions to the competencies.  Subsequently the working group members were divided into four workstreams (Gather feedback/experiences, Research/Literature Review, Competency Revisioning, and Report Writing/Editing) led by Advisory Group members to complete the specific tasks. The key steps in the process, and the involvement of the four groups, are illustrated below:

Project phases as of 7/15/2022

This is the most recent timeline approved by the Board, however as of July 2022 the Working Group is still engaged in the development of the competencies. This document will be updated when a revised timeline is approved.

What are the opportunities to provide input or feedback?

Overview presentations were given by the IPEC Core Competencies Revision Advisory Group followed by feedback solicited at town halls at a national IPEC meeting and at the Nexus Summit during Fall 2021.  Presentations and drafts of competencies will be presented at Town Halls at future national meetings throughout 2022-2023, including an update at the August 2022 Nexus Summit. The timeline for surveys and feedback events is:

More information is always available in the Events section which is shows on the entrance page of the IPEC website.

If you have comments or questions about the Core Competencies Revision  process or any of the draft documents provided by the WG for your review, the WG members have agreed to be contacted by members of their profession.

What are the key accomplishments of the Working Group so far?

To date, the revision has included the following efforts:

  • The Working Group and Advisory Group distributed a survey to institutional members and users of the IPEC Core Competencies to explore strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and obstacles in the use of the Core Competencies.
  • IPEC held a public town hall to discuss the survey results, and a second feedback session on the survey and the revision at the 2021 Nexus Summit.
  • Public feedback was incorporated into the revision process, and a Modified Delphi Survey was administered to all IPEC member organizations in January 2022.
  • The results of that Modified Delphi survey were reviewed and discussed with the Working Group, and are being used to guide the outline of the current revision.

IPEC Core Competencies Revision Timeline as of 7/14/2022

The Advisory Group meets weekly to manage this process, and the Working Group meets monthly. A number of survey results and feedback documents have been prepared and are available on IPEC Connect.

What feedback have you heard from constituents and partners for updating the competencies?

The key themes that have been revealed so far, through the surveys and the feedback from Core Competency users and others, are as follows:

  • The IPEC Core Competencies should include knowledge, skills and attitudes that assess the students’ understanding of health and social diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion.
  • The IPEC Core Competencies should be extended to other professions through the use of inclusive language and the acknowledgement of the roles that other professionals play, such as in the use of “client/patient/person” language rather than “patients.”
  • Clarification of how professions can adopt the IPEC Core Competencies to be specifically applicable to their professions, rather than developing many sub-competencies that are broadly applicable to many professions.

Who is the learner target audience for IPEC’s competencies?

While prior IPEC core competencies focused on the “pre-licensure/pre-credentialed student” as their target audience, the upcoming competency framework is broadened to ALL students, regardless of level, degree program, or pathway to licensure/credentialing. The rationale for this change is to cast a wide net in light of the real-world complexity of improving “equitable health outcomes” and the importance of engaging students across a variety of levels and professions in interprofessional education.

Communicating the New Competencies

How will I know when the revision has been completed? How will the results be publicized?

The Working Group plans to reach out to many external groups and users of the competencies, to get comments on the draft competencies in November 2022 – January 2023. Upon board approval of the new IPEC Core Competencies: 2023 Revision, IPEC will post the new framework on its website and disseminate it widely to partners and other potential users.

How can I or my institution give feedback after the revised competencies are published?

All are welcome to  join our IPEC Connect community in order to get more information on how your colleagues are using the Core Competencies, to provide feedback on the competencies, and to participate in discussions and perhaps, in future revisions!

How can I or my institution support IPEC’s effort?

We encourage you to use the current (2016) competencies and to visit this page regularly for updates on the pending 2023 revision of the IPEC Core Competencies. We also encourage you to participate in upcoming feedback sessions on the drafts of the competency domains and the competencies themselves by following the news and events on the IPEC web site. We look forward to your participation and support!


[1] Adapted from: Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. (2011).   Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice. Report of an expert panel. Washington, DC. Interprofessional Education Collaborative, p. 2.