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Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative Welcomes 17 New Member Organizations

The Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative (HPAC) is pleased to welcome 17 accrediting organizations as new members of the Collaborative. The new members join the six founding members of HPAC: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Commission on Dental Accreditation, Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, Council on Education for Public Health, and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. This move expands the composition of HPAC to 23 organizations committed to working together to advance interprofessional education (IPE), practice, and quality, as well as working together on other educational and research issues of common interest. The new accreditor members are:

HPAC was established in 2014 as a platform for discussion, proactive problem solving, and sharing among accreditors. The Collaborative was initially formed to enhance accreditors’ ability to ensure graduates of health profession education programs are prepared for interprofessional collaborative practice.

HPAC members, invited members, and observers met on April 4, 2017, in Chicago, IL, following the Spring 2017 Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) Semi-annual Conference, to discuss opportunities and challenges in interprofessional education and practice. Invited speaker Barbara F. Brandt, PhD, Director, National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, and Associate Vice President for Education, University of Minnesota, shared perspectives on opportunities for accreditors in shaping the future of IPE. She challenged the participating organizations to work together, offering guidance on areas of potential collaboration to foster development of high-functioning teams that can improve the experience, outcomes, and costs of health care.

The HPAC members discussed opportunities to respond to Dr. Brandt’s challenge and addressed questions from academic stakeholders. Identification of possible common definitions and competency expectations in IPE were considered. The participants discussed aspects of their accreditation reviews in relationship to IPE and noted similarities that could be further explored. A team of individuals from four HPAC members (representing medicine, social work, psychology, and pharmacy) will be working with individuals from the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education to draft a document on opportunities for IPE harmonization across accreditors. The document will provide guidance on IPE opportunities for the consideration, revision, and approval by all the HPAC members and ultimately for wide distribution to accredited programs. The current target for the final document is early 2018.

HPAC thanks ASPA for its support in providing the opportunity to convene HPAC meetings in conjunction with ASPA’s semiannual meetings.