Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education
at Washington University Medical Campus

What is interprofessional practice and education?

Traditionally these terms have been defined as:

  • Interprofessional Education (IPE) occurs when two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.
  • Interprofessional Practice occurs when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families, carers and communities to deliver the highest quality of care.

-Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice,
World Health Organization, 2010

However, the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education has developed a definition of the "New" IPE which encompasses both practice and education:

  • Interprofessional practice and education (IPE) creates a shared space between interprofessional education, interprofessional practice and collaborative practice.
  • It is NOT about education for education's sake. It's about improving health, creating support systems and trying different models of practice. It intentionally supports people--including health professionals, health workers, students, residents, patients, families and communities--to learn together every day to enhance collaboration and improve health outcomes while reducing costs.


CIPE's additions to the 'New IPE' definition

IPE is bi-directional and includes at least two professions in a shared synchronous or asynchronous learning experience. We agree that some foundational knowledge can be taught uniprofessionally first and then reinforced interprofessionally.