IPE/ICP Accreditation Standards

Accreditation Standards Relating to IPE/ICP for Health Sciences Academic Programs at UIC

The majority of accrediting bodies representing health professions recognize the importance of training students to be competent in interprofessional collaborative practice (ICP). As of September 2018, all but two health academic programs at UIC are required to meet  accreditation standards that relate to teamwork and ICP or call for students to participate in interprofessional education (IPE); in September 2015, only half  of the specialized accrediting bodies for  health sciences academic programs at UIC were required to meet specific standards (see listing below in accordion selections).

However, even though ICP and team-based care is an aim of most health academic programs, the lack of integrated and uniform ICP standards in the United States has resulted in accrediting agencies independently interpreting and  incorporating IPE/ICP related language in their standards, both in reference to IPE learning approaches and ICP core competencies.

Accreditation Standards – Learning Approaches & Core Competencies:

While IPE is the most widely recognized learning approach to achieving interprofessional collaborative practice competence, most health accreditation standards do not specify that students develop ICP competence through IPE, an education approach that “occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes” (WHO, 2010).   Only three UIC health academic programs, including Physical Therapy, Pharmacy and the Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing, have standards that require that students participate in IPE opportunities during their curriculum. Therefore, a curriculum that is designed to achieve collaborative practice competency can involve students or practitioners from other health professions and should include the use of various learning approaches, including  self-directed learning, uniprofessional education and IPE (Keehn, 2018).

Generally, there is not clear guidance from health accreditation agencies on student attainment of  the four core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice, including:  Values/Ethics for Interprofessional Practice, Roles/Responsibilities,  Interprofessional Communication , and Teams and Teamwork.[1]  Only three UIC health academic programs, Pharmacy, Social Work, and Nursing have accreditation standards that broadly remark on all four competencies. Across health accreditation standards for the remaining  UIC health sciences academic programs, Values and Ethics for interprofessional practice is the least referenced competency while Roles and  Responsibilities for collaborative practice is the most referenced competency (See Care Domains PDF). In addition, per the current program accreditation standards, there is a lack of specificity on which health care students, practitioners, and other stakeholders  should at a minimum, be included in IPE learning experiences.[2]

Accreditation standards for health sciences colleges underscore the significance of IPE/ICP into their respective curricula. Excerpts of specific IPE/ICP standards for each of the seven health sciences colleges at UIC are summarized below and highlights terms beyond IPE to include references to interprofessional communications and collaboration. The criteria identified below are directly retrieved from the accreditation standards as of September 2018.

For questions or to send updates, please contact Ami Shah at ashah58@uic.edu or (312) 413-6025.

Applied Health Sciences

Jane Addams College of Social Work





School of Public Health

Summary of IPE/ICP Accreditation Standards

IPE/ICP Related Requirements from September 2015 to September 2018

[1] Interprofessional Education Collaborative (2016). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: 2016 update. Washington, DC: Interprofessional Education Collaborative.

[2] Pharmacy standards, specify that “in the aggregate, team exposure includes prescribers as well as other health care professionals.”