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IPE at Otago

General introduction

For a general introduction to IPE at Otago, see our current brochure (2020):

The brochure can also be found in hard copy 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.
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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.

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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.

For a full listing of IPE activities at Otago as at end-2021:

IPE Collaborative Approaches to managing Long-term Conditions (IPE CALC)

This is an example of an IPE exposure activity, offered in Dunedin.

The activity has run in an evolving format since 2017, and now involves 9 health professional programmes from Otago (Year 3 Dentistry, Oral Health, Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy) and the Otago Polytechnic (Year 2 Nursing and Occupational Therapy and Y3 Social Services).

The overall aim of this IPE learning activity is to provide students enrolled in a health professional programme with the opportunity to engage in a collaborative learning environment related to understanding how health professionals can work together to manage a person and their whānau with a chronic long-term health condition.

Students learn in interprofessional groups of approximately 15 students each, with a minimum of 3 disciplines - and up to 9 disciplines - in each . Subgroups develop a management plan for different aspects of a specific case, and each of the three groups present their ideas back to the others.

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InVoLVE – Interprofessional Visits to Learn Interprofessional Values through Patient Experience

This is an example of an IPE engagement activity, offered in Wellington by the Wellington Interprofessional Teaching Initiative (WITI).

InVoLVE is delivered in a three-part form embedded within each discipline’s curriculum including an introductory class, an independently undertaken home visit to a person with multimorbidity and a final class presentation. Classroom time typically includes a mix of social interaction, small group work, teaching about content and in the initial class, support is given to assist students to prepare for the home visit and to undertake the presentation.

Read more about WITI here

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Tairāwhiti Interprofessional Education Programme (TIPE)

This is an example of a complex-immersion IPE activity, based in the Tairāwhiti region. Since 2021, another programme of this kind is based in a rural setting at Greymouth.

The Tairāwhiti Interprofessional Education Programme (TIPE) is a complex immersion programme for final-year health professional students. It was developed in response to a Ministry of Health request for proposals, with the long-term goal of increasing recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals in rural and remote locations in New Zealand.

TIPE is jointly administered by the University of Otago and the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), and includes dentistry, dietetics, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, oral health, paramedicine, pharmacy, physiotherapy, social work and speech language therapy students.

Students from each health discipline are based for five weeks in the region (Gisborne or Wairoa). They study and work together in rotational groups. Educational objectives for the programme relate to hauora Māori, rural health, interprofessional education, and chronic conditions management.

The programme was initially funded for a three-year period from 2012, with funding renewed and currently obtained up to the end of 2024.

Read more about the Tairāwhiti Interprofessional Education Programme (TIPE)

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