The science of teamwork has provided a growing body of evidence demonstrating the positive impact of teams in different work settings. Teamwork increases success, reduces errors, saves lives, reduces costs, improves retention, and more (see, e.g., Hughes et al., 2016; LePine et al., 2008; Lutfiyya et al., 2019; Salas et al., 2018; Webster et al., 2024). In addition, meta-analytic and other reviews of team training support the value of intentional, systematic education focusing on collaboration. Team training, including interprofessional education (IPE), leads to positive effects in reactions, learning, and team performance and has been directly linked to improved patient/client outcomes and satisfaction (see, e.g., Cadet et al., 2023; Institute of Medicine, 2015; Lacerenza et al., 2018; Lutfiyya et al., 2016; Mattiazzi et al., 2023; McEwan et al., 2017; Salas et al., 2008).

Many organizations (e.g., World Health Organization, National Academy of Medicine [formerly known as the Institute of Medicine], Institute for Healthcare Improvement) have acknowledged the value of teams and the need for effective training. In response, educational institutions—including communication sciences and disorders (CSD) programs—have expanded their IPE curricula. In recent years, increased understanding of what constitutes effective IPE (see, e.g., Black et al., 2022; Zorek et al., 2022) has resulted in programs transitioning from more IPE to better IPE. Programs are focusing less on IPE experiences that intuitively make sense and are concentrating more on developing IPE programs within a systematic, evidence-based framework. The current report describes how the recently released 2023 Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: Version 3 [PDF] may support our discipline’s efforts in building and sustaining IPE in ways that make a difference in outcomes related to patients/clients, professionals, and organizations.

Updated IPEC Competencies V3

The initial version of this document was published in 2011 (IPEC, 2011). The aim of the updated IPEC Competencies V3 document, developed in 2023, was to prepare “learners to engage in lifelong learning and collaboration to improve both the person/client care and population health outcomes” (IPEC, 2023, p. 14). The value of this framework has been widely recognized as indicated by its endorsement from 24 accrediting-body members of the Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative (HPAC) in the national consensus publication (HPAC, 2019). Further, it has been found that the 2016 IPEC competencies (IPEC, 2016) are relevant for professionals in settings beyond health care—including, for example, education (Armstrong et al., 2023). The 2023 IPEC competencies are linkable to educational strategies and culturally appropriate assessments across the learning continuum. They build on original and updated work that considers perspectives from many professions. Concepts from the Triple, Quadruple, and Quintuple Aims (three approaches that are introduced and described in Berwick et al., 2008; Bodenheimer & Sinsky, 2014; and Nundy et al., 2022) and from One Health (an approach that is introduced and described by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention [CDC], 2024)1 are integrated into the revised competencies. Further, while evidence from academic, practice, sociocultural, and other areas are incorporated, variability across and within professions is considered to allow institutions to adapt the competency framework as needed.

The 2023 IPEC framework consists of four core—or main—competencies (see Table 1):

  1. Values and Ethics
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Communication
  4. Teams and Teamwork

Thirty-three subcompetencies are distributed across these competencies and reflect an integration of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to perform as an effective collaborator. Systematic examination of where and how the IPEC Competencies V3 are addressed in current IPE curricula may support the efficiency and effectiveness of IPE programming. A relatively simple mapping task of competency to activity is a good starting point for determining gaps and redundancy in programming. The IPEC Competency Curriculum Tracker (Watson, 2024) is an example of a template to support this initial mapping. This tracker encourages programs to ask how the learning objectives of interprofessional experiences target specific competencies in various activities. It also assists programs in identifying the student learning stage for each IPE activity and if knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills are targeted in the activities.

Table 1. Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: Version 3

Values and EthicsWork with team members to maintain a climate of shared values, ethical conduct, and mutual respect.
Roles and ResponsibilitiesUse the knowledge of one’s own role and team members’ expertise to address individual and population health outcomes.
CommunicationCommunicate in a responsive, responsible, respectful, and compassionate manner with team members.
Teams and TeamworkApply values and principles of the science of teamwork to adapt one’s own role in a variety of team settings.
Source: IPEC (2023).

Measuring IPEC Competency Acquisition

In addition to identifying the competencies addressed in the curriculum, consideration of how educators are documenting the acquisition of these competencies is essential. Comprehensive assessment of IPE programming requires a longitudinal commitment, triangulation (i.e., data from different sources), and a team of learning and subject-matter experts (Salas et al., 2018).

Although self-report measures dominate, observation of individual and team performance—an often-neglected component in many IPE programs—is critical to understanding the effectiveness of our learning experiences.

A number of resources provide support in examining both individual and team thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as well as the perceptions of the training program (see, e.g., Blue et al., 2015; National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, n.d.; Reeves et al., 2015; Rogers et al., 2017; Schmitz & Cullen, 2015; Toronto Academic Health Sciences Practice Committee & University of Toronto Centre for Interprofessional Education at the University Health Network, 2017). Many assessments are based on the Kirkpatrick Training Evaluation Model (see Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick, 2016; Kirkpatrick Partners, n.d.; Nawaz et al., 2022)—or, simply, the Kirkpatrick model.

The intention of this popular framework is to not only improve educational programs but also support the transfer of learned behaviors to practice and to heighten the value of IPE experiences for students, faculty, and administrators. The Kirkpatrick model includes four levels:

  • Level 1: Examining participants’ reactions
  • Level 2: Assessing learning
  • Level 3: Observing application of behaviors in practice
  • Level 4: Evaluating results in terms of patients/clients’, students’, professionals’, and long-term organizational outcomes

Kirkpatrick and Kirkpatrick (2016) encourage trainers/educators to first consider Level 4 (identifying long-term outcomes) and then, in Level 3, reflect on what behaviors are needed of effective team members in order to accomplish these results. By understanding how behaviors are integrated into collaborative practice, we will be better positioned to understand the specific competencies and related attitudes, knowledge, and skills that our educational programs need to target (i.e., Level 2: Assessing Learning). The 2023 IPEC competencies reflect this orientation, as IPEC identified the achievement of the competencies and subcompetencies as being essential to supporting effective interprofessional collaborations that enhance patient/client, population, professional, and other outcomes.

An organization can support the systematic review of IPE activities and related learning objectives and outcomes by identifying the learning outcomes targeted in each activity (see IPEC Competency Curriculum Tracker; Watson, 2024). Table 2 presents examples of interprofessional competency constructs and possible assessment methods. It uses those examples to show how to assess learning beyond self-reports, and it encourages programs to consider long-term measurements that extend beyond graduation.

Table 2. Examples of Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Constructs and Measurement Within Kirkpatrick’s Model1



Construct Measured  

Assessment Method (example) 

1 Reactions 

  • Satisfaction with the program 
  • Perceived activity relevance 
  • Engagement during activity  
  • Survey (e.g., W(e) Learn instrument2
  • Qualitative data (e.g., debriefs) 

2 Acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes, confidence, and commitment 


  • Understanding of interprofessional team members’ scopes of practice 
  • Knowledgeable about evidence-based teamwork tools  
  • Pre/Post knowledge exam  
  • Survey of teamwork tool knowledge 

Attitudes, Confidence & Commitment: 

  • Embracing the value of collaboration 
  • Demonstrating confidence in and commitment to collaboration 
  • Pre/post surveys (e.g., Interprofessional Socialization and Valuing Scale [ISVS-21]3
  • Student records (e.g., attendance at non-required events) 
  • Qualitative data (e.g., debriefs).  


  • Demonstration of effective collaboration skills  


  • Retrospective Pre/Post survey (e.g., Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration Scale [ICCAS]2
  • Preceptor / observer rating of individual performance (e.g., Individual Teamwork Observation & Feedback Tool [iTOFT4


  • Preceptor / observer rating of team performance (e.g., Performance Assessment Communication and Teamwork Tools Set [PACT]5
  • Team-level assessment of team (e.g., debriefs) 

3 Behavior change in professional practice 

Application of learned constructs to collaborative practice on interprofessional teams in clinical settings  


  • Surveys of clinicians’ reported use of tools 
  • Employee observations of individuals (e.g., Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric [ICAR]6) 


  • Employee observations of teams (e.g., Communication and Teamwork Skills [CATS]7) 

4 Results of collaboration 

Patients / Clients: 

  • Reported satisfaction 
  • Treatment outcomes 
  • Length of treatment  


  • Retention at site / in the field 
  • Reported satisfaction and well being 


  • System changes 
  • Efficiency outcomes 
  • Patient / client / family surveys (e.g., Medical Outcomes Trust (MOT) tools8
  • Chart audits 
  • Employee surveys 
  • Employee records 
  1. Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick (2016). 
  2. MacDonald et al. (2010). 
  3. King et al. (2016). 
  4. Thistlethwaite et al. (2016). 
  5. Simulation Team Training Toolkit (n.d.)  
  6. Hayward et al. (2014). 
  7. Frankel et al. (2007). 
  8. National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (n.d.) 

Understanding Interprofessional Learning Stages 

In addition to addressing specific interprofessional competencies and including appropriate assessment methods, IPE curriculum planning should consider where students are in the development of their professional and interprofessional identities. The University of British Columbia’s Model of Interprofessional Education (Charles et al., 2010) is an example of an IPE framework that helps systematically recognize optimal learning times that consider student readiness for developing interprofessional perspectives. This framework proposes that a meaningful understanding of other professions’ perspectives requires a solid grounding in one’s own profession. In this model, three stages of learning are targeted—exposure, immersion, and mastery.  

The IPEC Competency Curriculum Tracker in Figure 1 includes an opportunity to reflect on a program’s success in addressing various learning stages as they promote collaborative practice.  

Stage 1: Exposure 

During the exposure stage, students engage in parallel experiences with peers from other professions. At this level, students are in the process of developing their own professional identities and likely will not fully understand other professions’ perspectives. Examples of student exposure experiences include participating in an interprofessional student group or in a general team training (e.g., TeamSTEPPS®; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, n.d.) with students from different disciplines.  

Stage 2: Immersion 

The immersion stage intentionally transforms students’ interprofessional world views to (a) include perspectives beyond their own and (b) value the contributions of others. At this learning stage, students build on their confidence as a practitioner and develop self-reflection skills that will allow them to consider many valid perspectives. Examples of immersion experiences include interprofessional case-based team training or co-taught interdisciplinary courses that focus on topics of mutual interest (e.g., aging, autism, ethics, social determinants of health equity). 

Stage 3: Mastery 

The mastery stage focuses on integrating interprofessional constructs into one’s practice. Learners—typically graduate students—at this stage clearly understand their professional role and work to develop advanced critical thinking skills, self-reflection, and an understanding of the contributions of self and others within service delivery systems. At this level, students are fully contributing on interprofessional teams and are integrating the collaborative knowledge, attitudes, and skills that they have acquired. Clinical experiences where students participate in interprofessional collaborations may be considered mastery-level learning.  

As IPE commitment and resource availability continue to challenge academic programs, it is imperative that systematic, empirically based frameworks become critical to informing and documenting the effectiveness of IPE programs. The 2023 IPEC competencies provide a timely and helpful means for approaching curriculum development. Support for competency-based IPE curricula is not new (see, e.g., Barr, 1998) and has received increased attention in recent years across disciplines (see, e.g., Bisbey et al., 2021) and within CSD (see, e.g., ASHA, 2020, 2022). Through the implementation of a competency-based framework, programs are better equipped to prepare CSD students for effective entry-level collaborative practice that results in enhanced patient/client outcomes, increased professional well-being and retention, and improved communication health care systems.  

1On its website, the CDC describes One Health as “a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach—working at the local, regional, national, and global levels—with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment” (CDC, 2023).


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