Office of Interprofessional Education

MSC 11 6055
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Physical Location:
SURGE Building (#226)
Suite 140, Room 151A (first floor)

Phone: (505) 272-1613

WHO: Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice

Who Framework Cover Page

Sponsored by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC)

Executive Summary

At a time when the world is facing a shortage of health workers, policymakers are looking for innovative strategies that can help them develop policy and programmes to bolster the global health workforce. The Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice highlights the current status of interprofessional collaboration around the world, identifies the mechanisms that shape successful collaborative teamwork and outlines a series of action items that policy-makers can apply within their local health system (Figure 1). The goal of the Framework is to provide strategies and ideas that will help health policy-makers implement the elements of interprofessional education and collaborative practice that will be most beneficial in their own jurisdiction.

Key messages

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners recognize interprofessional collaboration in education and practice as an innovative strategy that will play an important role in mitigating the global health workforce crisis.
  • Interprofessional education occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.
  • Interprofessional education is a necessary step in preparing a “collaborative practice-ready” health workforce that is better prepared to respond to local health needs.
  • A collaborative practice-ready health worker is someone who has learned how to work in an interprofessional team and is competent to do so. 
  • Collaborative practice happens when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families, carers and communities to deliver the highest quality of care. It allows health workers to engage any individual whose skills can help achieve local health goals.

    (See full list in Framework, p.7)