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The Clinical Simulation Support Unit in the Department of Health (Western Australia) has commissioned Edith Cowan University (ECU) to develop five interprofessional learning (IPL) resources. The project is funded by Health Workforce Australia and is under the leadership of Professor Cobie Rudd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Advancement) and Professor of Mental Health at ECU. Professor Cobie Rudd received a National Teaching Fellowship in 2011-2012 for ‘Enhancing uptake of learning through simulation in health’.

What are the IPL training resources?

These multimedia resources deliver training to undergraduate and postgraduate students in health disciplines and health professionals in the area of IPL.

The training resources consist of a video and an accompanying Facilitators' Guide, and use simulation to facilitate the learning experience.

The goal of each resource is to help prepare all health professionals - be they students or beginning clinicians - for working together.

The resources utilise problem-based learning scenarios with the intention of developing communication, collaboration and problem solving between health professionals in the workplace.

Suggested citations

This material was collaboratively developed by Edith Cowan University and the Western Australian Clinical Training Network, Department of Health.

Copyright to this material belongs to the Australian Government and Western Australia Department of Health. Apart from any fair dealing for personal, academic, research or non-commercial use, no part may be reproduced without written permission from the Western Australian Clinical Training Network, Department of Health. Educators are welcome to include these resources in teaching and learning materials, provided they are appropriately acknowledged as follows.

This material belongs to the Australian Government and Western Australia Department of Health, under the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth of Australia).

When quoting material from individual resources state:

Edith Cowan University (Perth), Western Australian Department of Health and The Australian Government (2013). Interprofessional Learning (IPL) Through Simulation Project. <insert resource title [e.g. It’s just a fracture! - Acute episode with underlying chronic conditions and social considerations]>. Retrieved <insert date [e.g. 30 June, 2013]>, from <insert URL of individual resource page [e.g.]>.

Support services

These resources may evoke an emotional response because of the authenticity of the scenarios. The following are some areas of support available:

  • Student support services within universities;
  • Employee assistance programs within organisations; and
  • Independent websites such as beyondblue for immediate support or more specifically for university students, the desk, which is a free online program aimed at providing Australian tertiary students with strategies and skills for success and wellbeing during their studies.

For further information, visit the beyondblue or thedesk websites (from the 'see also' links on the right of this page).

What is interprofessional learning?

Interprofessional learning is defined as:

"Learning arising from interaction between members (or students) of two or more professions" (Freeth, Hammick, Reeves, Koppel, & Barr, 2005)

IPL is more than observing a student or clinician from another discipline. Learning takes place when there are opportunities to engage in reflection and discussion about similarities and differences between different professions (Thistlethwaite & Nisbet, 2007). This is also when misconceptions and stereotypes come to light and communication skills can be practiced.

IPL is needed to increase communication and collaboration between health professionals in the workplace and enhance interprofessional practice. Ultimately this will lead to better client outcomes and reduce the risk of adverse events arising from professionals working in isolation.

What is interprofessional learning through simulation?

Simulation is a technique used to recreate events that are closely linked to reality. The IPL training resources are simulation-based videos to facilitate interprofessional learning. The videos have been developed in collaboration with health professionals and the ECU Health Simulation Centre, an internationally recognised specialist centre that offers simulation programs. They are based on actual issues in contemporary health care and use professional actors.

Through simulation, the IPL resources provide learning opportunities to prepare health professionals for more collaborative models of healthcare.


Freeth, D., M. Hammick, S. Reeves, I. Koppel, and H. Barr (2005). Effective interprofessional education: development, delivery and evaluation. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Thistlethwaite, J., Nisbet, G. (2007). Interprofessional education: what's the point and where we're at. The Clinical Teacher, 4, 67-72.

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