Given the trends in service delivery toward a more nonhierarchical interdisciplinary team approach, both in health care and in other settings, the CAA identified several important aspects of interprofessional education/interprofessional collaborative practice (IPE/IPP) when it recently reviewed the accreditation standards. Because of the support for these concepts, the Council added knowledge and skills outcomes in the 2017 Standard 3.1 that programs must address through the academic and clinical curriculum. As these elements are featured primarily in the Professional Practice Competencies, excerpted below, the CAA expects programs to infuse the competencies throughout the curriculum and be able to describe how the competencies are demonstrated by students as well as how the competencies are assessed and measured.
3.1.1 Professional Practice Competencies (3.1.1A Audiology and 3.1.1B Speech-Language Pathology)
The program must provide content and opportunities for students to learn so that each student can demonstrate the following attributes and abilities and can demonstrate those attributes and abilities in the manners identified.
- Accountability: Understand how to work on interprofessional teams to maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values.
- Effective Communication Skills: Communicate—with patients, families, communities, interprofessional team colleagues, and other professionals caring for individuals—in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a team approach to maximize care outcomes.
- Professional Duty: Understand the roles and importance of interdisciplinary/interprofessional assessment and intervention and be able to interact and coordinate care effectively with other disciplines and community resources.
- Collaborative Practice: Understand how to apply values and principles of interprofessional team dynamics.
- Collaborative Practice: Understand how to perform effectively in different interprofessional team roles to plan and deliver care—centered on the individual served—that is safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable.
For audiology, the CAA included additional elements in the curriculum standard:
3.1.4A Assessment of the structure and function of the auditory and vestibular systems
The program provides academic content and clinical education experiences so that each student can learn and demonstrate knowledge and skills in order to
- engage in interprofessional collaborative practice (IPP) to facilitate optimal assessment of the individual being served.
3.1.6A Intervention to minimize the effects of changes in the auditory and vestibular systems on an individual’s ability to participate in his or her environment
The program’s curriculum provides academic content and clinical education experiences so that each student can learn and demonstrate knowledge and skills in order to
- conduct audiologic (re)habilitation and engage in interprofessional practice (IPP) to maximize outcomes for individuals served.
When considering how to incorporate IPE and IPP in the academic and clinical curriculum, programs should keep in mind the definitions employed by the CAA for interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional collaborative practice (IPP), which were adapted by ASHA from the World Health Organization’s Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (2010) [PDF]:
- Interprofessional education—Interprofessional education occurs when individuals of two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve outcomes for individuals and families whom are served.
- Interprofessional collaborative practice—When multiple service providers from different professional backgrounds provide comprehensive health care or educational services by working with individuals, their families, caregivers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of service across settings.
A number of organizations and academic institutions have developed resources and training on IPE/IPP, and we are highlighting a few of those entities here:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) – ASHA is focusing on advancing IPE/IPP as part of its Strategic Pathway to Excellence. ASHA has compiled resources to support individuals and academic programs in their efforts to learn, practice, and model collaboratively with other professions in educational and health care settings. Brief videos, presentations and webinars, survey summaries, links to upcoming conferences, and more are available online.
Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) – IPEC collaborates with academic institutions to promote, encourage, and support efforts to prepare future health professionals to enter the workforce ready for collaboration with other professionals. Resources include the Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, last updated in 2016. ASHA became an organizational member in 2017.
National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education – The National Center, based at the University of Minnesota, provides leadership, evidence, and resources for IPE/IPP as a way to enhance the experience of health care, improve population health, and reduce the overall cost of care.
Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative (HPAC) – The CAA joined HPAC in 2017. HPAC was formed to enhance accreditors’ ability to ensure graduates of health profession education programs are prepared for IPE/IPP and offer a platform for accreditors to work together on common areas of interest.
Guidance on Developing Quality Interprofessional Education for the Health Professions
The Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative (HPAC) and the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education released Guidance on Developing Quality Interprofessional Education for the Health Professions [PDF] in February 2019. The guidance was developed through a multiyear, multiphase consensus process aimed at supporting the development and implementation of quality interprofessional education (IPE). The CAA is pleased to have been a part of the development of this resource for institutional leaders, programs and faculty, and accreditation agencies and volunteers.
The CAA views this document as a resource to support programs in their preparation of graduate students in audiology and in speech-language pathology as professionals, regardless of clinical externship or practice settings. The CAA expects programs to be engaged in IPE ultimately to realize the success of their graduates in interprofessional collaborative practice (IPP). The Guidance is not intended to replace or subsume CAA’s accreditation standards related to IPE, nor will site visitors be directed to consider programs’ IPE plans solely on the basis of recommendations from this document.