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

What is Interprofessional Education (IPE)?


Interprofessional education refers to occasions when students from two or more professions in health and social care learn together during all or part of their professional training with the object of cultivating collaborative practice[1] for providing patient-centered care.

Why do we need Interprofessional Education?

Teamwork in health care is often referred to as Interprofessional Practice. Interprofessional practice results in the collaborative, comprehensive care that our clients/patients value and expect. See video courtesy of University of Arizona, June 27, 2013.

The goal of interprofessional education is to prepare health professional students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for collaborative interprofessional practice.

WHO Study Group on Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice

Recognizing the importance of interprofessional education as one of the innovative approaches that can help tackle the global health workforce challenge, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a WHO Study Group on Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice in 2007[2] to articulate a greater understanding of this issue within a global context. It was tasked with providing guidance to Member States on how they could use interprofessional collaboration to scale-up and build more flexible health workforces that enable local health needs to be met efficiently and effectively while maximizing resources.

The WHO Study Group engaged various partners and undertook a program of work that culminated in the publication of WHO’s Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice[3] in March 2010. The Framework 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 policymakers can apply within their local health system. It provides strategies and ideas that can help health policymakers implement the elements of interprofessional education and collaborative practice that will be most beneficial in their own jurisdiction.

The WHO Study Group consisted of almost 30 top education, practice and policy experts from across every region of the world. Overall leadership was provided by Co-Chairs Prof. John HV Gilbert (University of British Columbia & Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative) and Dr. Jean Yan (World Health Organization) and a secretariat led by Mr. Steven J. Hoffman (World Health Organization).


  1. Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE), 1997. Interprofessional education - a definition. London: CAIPE Bulletin 13, p.19.
  2. World Health Organization, 2007. World Health Organization Study Group on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice, accessed 15 April 2011.
  3. World Health Organization, 2010. Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice. Geneva: WHO Press


Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice

Team-based Competencies

WHO Framework for Action on IPE & Collaborative Practice