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Division of Health Sciences Centre for Interprofessional Education


IPE strategy

The Division of Health Sciences has a vision to "establish Otago as a national leader in interprofessional education across the health professions."

To achieve that vision, the IPE Strategic Plan (2016–2019) has been implemented to establish frameworks and infrastructure necessary to support our staff to grow IPE across the Division.

From 2020, the Division moves into a second cycle of strategic goals, set out in:

Specifically, these are policy recommendations for Otago, to support a high-quality, integrated and longitudinal IPE curriculum across the pre-registration health professional programmes – including the following components:

  • Overarching aims for IPE
  • Common IPE language
  • Variable IPE activity components in a sequential curriculum
  • Defined set of curriculum learning outcomes
  • Expectations for student attainment, collectively and individually
  • Guidelines for IPE student assessment and IPE activity evaluation
  • Capacity to adapt and respond to the context, needs, opportunities and partnerships of IPE
  • Recognition for staff contribution to IPE teaching
  • Quality systems to accredit IPE activities, record student IPE credits, and evaluate the IPE integrated curriculum.

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IPE Centre

The Division of Health Sciences Centre for Interprofessional Education ("IPE Centre") has been established and charged with implementing the strategy. The IPE Centre is a virtual entity consisting of the following roles:

  • IPE Director: Professor Sue Pullon (UOW: Primary Health Care & General Practice)
  • IPE Divisional Lead: Dr Margot Skinner (School of Physiotherapy)
  • IPE Campus Leads:
    • IPE Leads Dunedin: Alison Meldrum (Faculty of Dentistry), Aynsley Peterson (School of Pharmacy), Linda Gulliver (Dunedin School of Medicine)
    • IPE Lead UOC: Louise Beckingsale (Human Nutrition, Dietetics)
    • IPE Lead UOW: Associate Professor Eileen McKinlay (Primary Health Care & General Practice)
  • IPE Centre Manager: Ashley Symes
  • Administrators Client Services (IPE Centre): Cora Heister (Dunedin), Marissa O'Leary (UOC), Rebecca Fyfe (UOW)

With oversight by the Divisional Executive, and advice from the Divisional IPE Advisory Group, the Centre sets a direction and work programme to support and foster the development of high-quality IPE on all campuses and across health professional programmes, faculties, and schools. The current focus is on pre-registration programmes, with an intention to foster IPE in postgraduate programmes over time.

Contact details for the IPE Centre

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Progress and timeline towards strategic objectives

2021 focus

  • Delivering a full complement of existing IPE activities and planned pilots in 2021, after the disruptions of 2020.
  • Implementing revisions to support optimal structure and linkages for Divisional IPE governance.
  • Progressively implementing accreditation of IPE learning activities through the online Otago IPE Register – starting with all established IPE activities.
  • Focusing on the priorities of the IPE Research Plan.
  • Sustaining value in our programme of IPE professional development.
  • Sustaining IPE visibility at Otago and in the wider IPE community inside and outside Aotearoa.
  • Continuing to build IPE partnerships that are of demonstrable value to Otago students.

2020 highlights

  • Most previously established learning activities were successfully delivered over the year, bar the unavoidable clinical placement disruption in the April/May Covid 19 lockdown; pilot activities intended for 2020 were also disrupted.
  • Groundwork laid for strategic reconfiguration of IPE governance and capacity of the IPE Centre.
  • Tool for collecting information for the accreditation of each IPE activity developed and tested.
  • Continued commitment by the IPE Leaders team to increase IPE visibility, provide (limited) professional development for staff, evaluate and publish.
  • A more integrated IPE research plan  drawn up for implementation from 2021, and a one-off ring-fenced funding sum identified for the appointment of a part-time research fellow in 2021.
  • IPE Centre Annual Evaluation Report 2020 (PDF)

2019 highlights

  • Innovation – e.g. the IPE Student-led Ward at Dunedin Hospital, piloted in August-September 2019, is a first of its kind in New Zealand; the IPE Centre is beginning to engage in rural IPE activities in the South Island
  • Continuation - of robust, evaluated IPE offerings within an identified core suite of IPE activities at all campuses and some regional sites (now 11 in total, including 2 complex-immersion sites)
  • Articulation of the future direction for the IPE Centre – a) by consulting with all Health Sciences Schools and health professional programmes, of the IPE Quality Framework; and b) by presenting to the Health Sciences Divisional Executive detailed Size and Shape proposals for the IPE Centre 2020 and beyond
  • Faculty development – e.g. the IPE Centre Webinar Series was launched in May 2019, and will continue; an online module for IPE teachers/facilitators went live in early December 2019, as part of the Clinical Educators Programme managed by Otago Medical School health educators.
  • IPE Centre Annual Evaluation Report 2019 (PDF)

2018 highlights

  • Development – of a Curriculum and Quality Framework for IPE at Otago
  • Continuation – of robust, evaluated IPE offerings within an identified core suite of IPE activities at all campuses and some regional sites
  • Partnerships – new and consolidated partnership arrangements to the benefit of students – notably, completion of a Memorandum of Agreement in respect of IPE activities, between the Division and the Otago Polytechnic
  • Initiation of discussions with health professional programmes in Dunedin (including at the Polytechnic) on the possibilities of dedicated timetabling for IPE activities in the early learning years and/or design of a coordinated programme of interprofessional teaching and learning across shared content in the health professional curricula
  • Profiling – international and national profiling of Otago’s IPE programme, and our health professional students, at All Together Better Health IX (Auckland, September 2018)
  • IPE Centre Annual Evaluation Report 2018 (PDF)

2017 highlights

  • Consolidation of the IPE Centre during its first year of operation, as a virtual structure with embedded campus leadership and administration
  • Increased awareness and recognition of IPE throughout the Division, with growing understanding of IPE’s significance as a health system imperative, a Divisional strategic priority and point of advantage, and a vehicle of curriculum transformation and continuous improvement
  • Increased numbers of academic staff involved in IPE teaching, learning, research and curriculum development and steady accumulation of an institutional evidence base for IPE
  • Accelerated extension of IPE networks within the Division and health professional programmes, across campuses and regional sites, and with institutional and community partners
  • Continuous growth of IPE activities, comprising established and new offerings in the Health Sciences curricula (many supported by the IPE Support Innovation Fund); as well as opportunities to contribute, e.g. input into the MBChB Curriculum Map, and the graduate profiles of health professional programmes
  • IPE Centre Annual Evaluation Report 2017 (PDF)

2016 highlights

  • Initiation of a network of IPE groups across sites, to promote IPE and to support the innovation / development of IPE activities as set out in the 2016 work plan; Dunedin Foundation Years and Wellington groups established and active
  • Continuation of staff development programme through the progressive development of: IPE forums and networking opportunities - including visiting scholars, IPE knowledge repositories (public-access and closed-access); IPE mentoring capacity
  • IPE Support Innovation Fund applications invited by 26 May 2016 and 30 September 2016, with seven further awards made
  • Review and evaluation of progress against strategic plan carried out, to inform 2017 work plan
  • Establishment of IPE Centre (end of 2016)
  • IPE Annual Evaluation 2016 (PDF)

2015 highlights

  • Discussions across the Division, under the auspices of an IPE project, to establish: understanding of IPE; register of current initiatives under way; opportunities for new initiatives; barriers to implementation; preliminary timetable analysis
  • Development and ratification by the Divisional Executive of IPE Strategic Plan 2016–2019
  • Detailing of 2016 work plan
  • Staff development programme initiated by workshop, 22 October 2015
  • IPE Support Innovation Fund established and first grants-in-aid for IPE activities awarded, December 2015

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IPE governance

IPE governance 2021

  • From 2021, the IPE Director is a member of the Health Sciences Divisional Executive, facilitating Divisional strategic oversight of the IPE Centre and the Health Sciences Division's IPE activities. (Prior to 2021, a Divisional IPE Governance Group (DIPEGG) served this function.)
  • The IPE Leaders Group - comprising the IPE Director, IPE Divisional Lead, IPE Campus Leads and IPE Centre Manager - provides leadership and strategic support to IPE Campus Groups as required.
  • The Divisional IPE Advisory Group provides advice to the IPE Leaders Group / IPE Centre.
  • IPE Campus Groups and/or task teams serve as IPE leadership teams on each campus (Dunedin, UOC, UOW).

The terms of reference and composition of these structures are detailed in this summary:

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IPE linkages

IPE linkages updated Mar 2021

IPE in the Division occurs within a matrix of linkages and relationships, including linkages between:

  • The IPE Centre and its divisional and campus-level governance structures
  • The IPE Centre and complex immersion activities, e.g. the Tairāwhiti Interprofessional Education Programme and West Coast IPE, located outside the Centre
  • The IPE Centre and IPE activities and teams based at various campus and regional sites
  • IPE activities involving the University of Otago and other community and institutional partners.

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