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General introduction

For a general introduction to IPE at Otago, see our brochure:

The brochure can also be found in hard copy (2020 edition) from the IPE Centre. Please email (limited numbers only).

IPE conceptual model at Otago


The IPE conceptual model was first developed in 2017, drawing on literature and models in the field.  The model was reviewed in 2018, and again in 2020.  It will continue to be reviewed from time to time, to ensure it accurately captures Otago's shared understanding of interprofessional education.

The conceptual model incorporates these core ideas (for details, see IPE Conceptual Model 2020):

  • IPE in health professional programmes prepares students for person-centred health care.
  • By learning with, from and about each other, students progressively acquire IPE competencies in six specified domains.
  • Capabilities developed through IPE are applied, demonstrated and consolidated in clinical workplaces.
  • Health and education systems share contextual drivers and priorities, and respond through strategies, innovations and partnerships.

IPE Quality Framework


The IPE Quality Framework was consulted during 2019 and ratified in April 2020.

Key components of the Framework are (for details, see documents listed above):

  • The IPE Centre implements the IPE vision, strategy and Quality Framework.
  • A common language for IPE and interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) builds common understanding.
  • An integrated longitudinal IPE curriculum progressively builds IPE competence to meet learning and regulatory requirements.
  • Selected IPE competency domains form the basis of assessment in IPE learning activities.
  • Students accumulate IPE credits which are captured for their permanent academic record.

Student IPE journey


The students

IPE at Otago involves health professional and social care professional students from Otago, and from a range of partner tertiary education institutions. For example:

  • Otago health professional students currently have IPE opportunities after completing the Health Sciences First Year which precedes their health professional programme, e.g. Dentistry, Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy.
  • Some Otago students have IPE opportunities from their first year of study, either at undergraduate (e.g. Oral Health, Radiation Therapy) or postgraduate-entry level (e.g. Dietetics, Nursing).
  • It benefits Otago students to learn interprofessionally with, from and about health/social care professional students from other disciplines in programmes offered by partner institutions around the country, e.g. Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Paramedicine, Social Services, Social Work, Speech Language Therapy.

The IPE journey

Otago students' interprofessional learning progresses through the course of their degree in activities at three levels of learning:

  • Exposure – an IPE learning activity that is case-based or problem-based, but does not need to involve patients/clients either simulated or actual.
  • Engagement – an IPE learning activity that involves patients/clients either simulated or actual, but not in a clinical workplace where care is undertaken.
  • Immersion – an IPE learning activity that is based in a clinical workplace where students participate in usual care; the term 'complex immersion activity' is used to denote an extended clinically-based rotation/block module.

As the IPE Quality Framework is rolled out from 2020, students will begin to accumulate IPE credits from their participation in IPE activities, on the basis of:

  • Workload hours
  • Complexity of interprofessional learning, and
  • Expected learning outcomes

By learning with, from and about each other, students progressively acquire IPE competencies in selected, assessed domains.  They apply, demonstrate and consolidate these competencies in clinical workplaces pre- and post-registration, thus becoming ready for - and progressing towards mastery of - collaborative practice.

Examples of IPE activities at Otago

At Otago, an IPE activity:

  • Involves students from two or more professions (preferably three or more)
  • Involves IPE -trained staff, from two or more professions wherever possible
  • Includes at least one explicit interprofessional learning outcome – preferably more than one
  • Involves interactive learning
  • Assesses at least one interprofessional competency domain (see table above).

IPE activities are offered at each of Otago's Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Invercargill campuses, as well as at some regional and rural clinical sites.

Please check the following links for more information about selected activities:

IPE Exposure

IPE Engagement

IPE Immersion

Complex Rural Immersion IPE

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