Interprofessional Education (IPE): Information and Activities
Background & Overview

Collaborative practice “… occurs when healthcare providers work with people from within their own profession, with people outside of their profession, and with patients/clients and their families.” (The Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative CIHC, February 2009). An important note is that trust and value is required so that healthcare providers can consult with each other without worrying about seeming unknowledgeable.

Through collaboration, practitioners can enhance their ability to identify clients' strengths, abilities and participation aspirations.

Way, Jones and Baskerville (2001) identify 7 essential elements for collaboration: mutual trust and respect, autonomy, responsibility, communication, coordination, assertiveness and cooperation. Interprofessional education (IPE) can enable students and practitioners to learn these elements, knowledge and skills to practice interprofessional collaborative practice.

IPE Definition

The most appropriate way for students to learn to practice in a collaborative and interprofessional manner is through IPE. The definition of IPE commonly used is from the Centre on Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE, 2002) which states that “IPE occurs when two or more professions learn with, from and about each other in order to improve collaboration and the quality of care.”

IPE for health professions is becoming a major movement in our changing health and education environments and through which there are many benefits for patients, health care providers, students, and quality and rewarding work environments.

A helpful resource is Frequently asked questions about interprofessional education by CIHC.

IPE and the Department of Occupational Therapy

Articulate, demonstrate, communicate, cooperate: essential roles of client-centered, collaborative practitioners.


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This web page has been adapted with permission from Christine Ateah, Faculty of Nursing.