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IPE Facilitation Training Toolkit

IPE requires experienced facilitators to identify difficult situations and provide opportunities for students to examine and challenge biases, perceptions, and frustrations relating to working with other health professions. This IPE Facilitation Training Toolkit is designed for educators interested in learning to facilitate student IPE and/or train other educators to facilitate IPE. It contains activities to actively engage educators in identifying common facilitation challenges and which facilitation techniques may help to navigate those challenges. This toolkit may be used as a complete curriculum to conduct an IPE Facilitaton Training Workshop or be modified to meet particular training needs.

Common facilitation challenges addressed include:

  • Cultural presence of uniprofessional education (tradition and group identity)
  • Lack of understanding around professional learning requirements (outside own background)
  • Stereotypes and divisive humor
  • When to intervene with students and lead interprofessional learning in a didactic fashion vs. allowing students to direct their own learning (Lindqvist and Reeves, 2007)
  • Ability to manage tension, conflict and breakdown in communication among groups of learners
  • Managing unengaged and disruptive students
  • Authenticity of clinical cases (typically based in one profession rather than multiprofessions) (Di Prospero & Bhimji-Hewitt, 2010)


This toolkit is designed for educators interested in learning to facilitate student IPE and/or train other educators to facilitate IPE. No prerequisites are necessary, however, familiarity with IPE competencies is advised. Educators learning to train other educators should have previous experience facilitating student IPE.


 Use this toolkit as a resource to help faculty:

  1. Understand common facilitation challenges in interprofessional learning groups.
  2. Identify situations in which particular/effective facilitation strategies could be employed.

How to Use this Toolkit

The Facilitation Guide (provided in the Materials section below) explains in detail how to conduct an IPE Facilitation Training Workshop using the series of provided videos. 

Training typically takes 90 minutes for large groups of 20 or more and may take less time for smaller groups. A sample agenda is provided here.

The most effective room arrangement is to split trainees into small interprofessional groups of 4 – 6 individuals at small tables where all can easily view a video screen or projector screen. (It may be easier to assign trainees to a particular small group than allow them to group themselves. This may allow for a more even distribution of professions between groups.) Two trainers of different professions are recommended.

At the start of the workshop, trainees are asked to introduce themselves to their small groups following the directions in the Facilitation Guide. Facilitators will present a brief presentation to the trainees to provide context and outline the purpose and objectives of the training. Then, the facilitators begin to run a series of videos that portray various facilitation challenges. Trainees are asked to fill in the Participant Form with the types of challenges they observe in the videos and possible facilitation strategies to address those challenges. After each short video shown to trainees, there will be a discussion among the small groups followed by a larger, brief discussion with all trainees. There will be a debrief at the end of the training and, then, trainees are asked to complete an evaluation form.


  • Introductions
  • Presentation
  • Facilitation Videos and Discussion (Identifying facilitation challenges and techniques to guide students.)
  • Debrief
  • Evaluation



  • Whiteboard or other writing surface that is easily seen by trainees in the room and appropriate writing tools.
  • Video monitor or projector with screen that can play videos from a web source or downloaded onto a portable usb drive. All trainees must be able to clearly see/hear the videos.

Materials Developed by:

Debra Liner, Program Operations Specialist (UW School of Nursing)
Brenda Zierler, PhD, RN, FAAN (UW School of Nursing)
Erin Blakeney, PhD, RN (UW School of Nursing)
Mayumi Willgerodt, PhD, RN (UW Bothell School of Nursing)
Karen McDonough, MD (UW School of Medicine)
Sarah Shannon, PhD, RN (UW School of Nursing)

Support for the development of these materials was provided by: the Division of Nursing (DN), Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under grant number D09HP25029, title "Advanced Nursing Education.”

Co-Sponsored by the Following Groups at UW:

  • Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education, Research and Practice (CHSIERP)
  • IPE Health Sciences Implementation Committee
  • Center for Leadership and Innovation in Medical Education