Train educators to facilitate student IPE and/or train other educators.



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.


  • To help facilitators understand common facilitation challenges in interprofessional learning groups.
  • To help facilitators identify situations in which particular/effective facilitation strategies could be employed.


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.

This IPE Toolkit contains free-source activities and methods to actively engage educators in learning and applying various instructional methods to teach IPE competencies. All materials for each activity are available for download and use.

The IPE competencies covered in this toolkit are designed by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC). They fall into four domains: Values/Ethics for Interprofesional Practice, Roles/Responsibilities, Interprofessional Communication, and Teams and Teamwork. Learn more about IPEC at

1. 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.

2. Common Facilitation Challenges

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)

3. Activities

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

5. Additional Supplies Needed

  • 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.
  • Name tags with name and profession (optional).
  • Microphone (optional).

6. References

Banfield, V. & Lackie, K. (2009). Performance-based competencies for culturally responsive interprofessional collaborative practice. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 23(6):611-20. DOI:10.3109/13561820902921654. Retrieved from

Barr, H. (2002). Interprofessional education: Today, yesterday, and tomorrow. The Learning and Teaching Support Network for Health Sciences & Practice from the UK Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education. Retrieved from

Crow, J. & Smith, L. (2003). Using co-teaching as a means of facilitating interprofessional collaboration in health and social care. Journal of interprofessional care, 17(1), 45-55. PMID:12772469. Retrieved from

Di Prospero, L., & Bhimji-Hewitt, S. (2011). Learning is in the facilitation: Faculty perspectives with facilitated teaching and learning-recommendations from informal discussions. Journal of allied health, 40(4), e61–65.

Egan-Lee, E. et al. (2011). Neophyte facilitator experiences of interprofessional education: implications for faculty development. Journal of interprofessional care, 25(5): 333–338. DOI: 10.3109/13561820.2011.562331. Retrieved from

Freeman, S., Wright, A., & Lindqvist, S. (2010). Facilitator training for educators involved in interprofessional learning. Journal of interprofessional care, 24(4), 375–385. doi:10.3109/13561820903373202. Retrieved from

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

Heron, J. (1989). The Facilitator’s Handbook. Kogan Page, London.

Howkins, E. & Bray, J. (2008). Preparing for interprofessional teaching: Theory and practice. New York, New York: Radcliffe Publishing.

Lindqvist, S. M., & Reeves, S. (2007). Facilitators’ perceptions of delivering interprofessional education: A qualitative study. Medical teacher, 29(4), 403–405. doi:10.1080/01421590701509662. Retrieved from

Reeves, S., Goldman, J., Olandasan, I. (2007). Key factors in planning and implementing interprofessional education in health care settings. Journal of allied health; 36 (2), 231-235. PMID: 18293805

Reeves, S., Freeth, D. (2002). The London training ward: An innovative interprofessional learning initiative. Journal of interprofessional care, 16(1), 41-52. PMID:11915715. Retrieved from

Ruiz, M. G., Ezer, H., & Purden, M. (2013). Exploring the nature of facilitating interprofessional learning: findings from an exploratory study. Journal of interprofessional care, 27(6), 489–495. doi:10.3109/13561820.2013.811640. Retrieved from



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.” Toolkit development was co-sponsored by the following groups at the University of Washington: the Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education, Research and Practice (CHSIE), the IPE Health Sciences Implementation Committee, and the Center for Leadership and Innovation in Medical Education. Video production was provided by the University of Washington School of Nursing Technology Innovation in Education & Research (TIER) team. Thank you to the UW Chapter of the IHI Open School and student actors who volunteered to participate in the videos.

Content authors include:
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)
Lynne Robbins, PhD (UW School of Medicine)