Professional development in integrated care: Task and Finish Group at ICIC24

Professional development in integrated care: Task and Finish Group at ICIC24

The International Foundation for Integrated Care’s (IFIC) Integrated Care Academy has developed several continuing professional development (CPD) and other education and training programmes over the years. It has delivered these as stand-alone and in collaboration with partners. It has also promoted the work of partnering higher education institutions who provide post-graduate education and training.

IFIC’s Academy team wanted to understand the current state of integrated care education and training in a number of countries across the world where we have strong networks and where we know there is a clear policy focus on delivering integrated people-centred care.

IFIC convened a small group of experts in education and training from our network including members of the IFIC’s Education and Research Special Interest Group and some of our long-term education partners. This Task & Finish (T&F) group first met in early 2023 to agree the questions we wanted the review to focus on and developed the following:

  1. What integrated care specific training and education is currently provided in our selection of countries / regions for HCPs at vocational, undergraduate and postgraduate levels?
  2. What integrated care specific training and education is currently provided in our selection of countries / regions for informal carers to enable them to take an active role in the models of care?
  3. What needs to be done to better support career development in integrated care including education and training?

The group designed the approach to this review, conducted a high-level review at country or region level and summarised each as a short case study. The group shared barriers and enablers of education and training for integrated care in each case and these were synthesized into an over arching set of recommendations.

The expert group from the seven countries met and investigated the above questions over a 9–12-month period throughout 2023 and 2024 and the output of this work is a report that summarizes the findings and the recommendations of the group for education and training in integrated care.

Generic Results:

Undergraduate training

  • While interprofessional learning were identified as an essential component of training there is nothing specific to integrated care.

Post graduate training

  • There are some programs focused on improving health and social services in some countries.

Vocational Training

  • Most of the training appears to be clinical and advancing practice focused.
  • No countries identified vocational courses specific to integrated care.

Continuing professional development

  • No requirement to include integrated care.

Reflections:

  • The case studies across all seven countries identified that although national policies and directives are committing to integrated care, there is a lack of a systematic approach and recognition that we need to train our health and care workforce specifically in integrated care skills and what these skills and competencies look like.
  • Higher education and vocational jurisdictions, curriculum developers, accreditation and registering bodies, policy developers and national governments need explicit preparation and direction to understand the training gaps and requirements to implement integrated care. They need to recognise that integrated care involves a different set of knowledge, skills, and attitudes to those with which our current health and social care workforce is traditionally trained.
  • Training in integrated care must be mandated and incorporated into the curriculum for all undergraduate, postgraduate, vocational, and continuing education health and social care professionals.

We hosted a workshop at ICIC24 to discuss future recommendations with members of the T&F group invited to host tables as a World Café approach. The workshop’s objective was to reflect on the results of the education and training mapping exercise and co-design future development areas with the participants.

Audience and Engagement:
The session was open to any ICIC24 participant interested in education and training in the integrated care workforce and encouraged open dialogue and active participation in small group discussions. Many senior associates from the IFIC network were also in attendance and brought their insights and experience to the discussion.

Workshop Structure
Introduction and background
Results of the integrated care training and education mapping project Vicki Cloney from Communities and Volunteers Sector, Inverclyde, Scotland presented Scotland’s results showing what is currently provided in Scotland’s advancing models of care integration to a) workforce at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and b) informal carers to enable them to take an active role in the models of care.
World café approach
The world café approach was used to engage participants in rotations to stimulate cross-fertilisation of ideas among participants which facilitated the discussion in each of the groups. In 3 rotations of 15 minutes each, the participants answered the following question:

 “What needs to be done to support better career development in integrated care, including education and training, from a Macro, Meso and Micro level?”

Conclusion: This collaborative and iterative workshop underlined collective responsibility in advancing the education and training for the future health and care workforce. This workshop was an opportunity to contribute to the advancement of integrated care education, fostering a collaborative space and multidisciplinary engagement. From it, a refreshed Education and Training Special Interest Group is now being discussed.

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Dr. Edelweiss Aldasoro
Faculty Lead
Integrated Care Academy (ICA)
Orla Snook O’Carroll
Course Manager
Integrated Care Academy (ICA)