A Delphi Study to Determine Leveling of the Interprofessional Core Competencies for Four Levels of Interprofessional Practice

  • Mary L. KoehnEmail author
  • Stephen C. Charles
Original Research



Although the Core Competencies for Interprofessional Education (IPE) provide guidance in developing interprofessional learning experiences, the literature is sparse in how to incorporate them across varying levels of learning activities. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore consensus for leveling the IPEC Core Competencies for use across four levels of interprofessional practice. Initially, Benner’s novice to expert theory was used to develop a leveling document for planning educational experiences appropriate for pre-licensure through practice learners. Using this document, a Delphi study was conducted to gain consensus on leveling the Core Competencies.


A modified Delphi technique was employed using an expert panel of 48 healthcare faculty experienced in interprofessional education. Participants were asked to select their opinion of the level of learner for which each of the competencies were most appropriate.


After three rounds of questionnaires, 34 of the 38 competencies achieved consensus at a 70% agreement. Four competencies did not reach consensus.


Using a developmental approach, this study provides a foundational point for establishing guidelines for progressive organization and consistency in interprofessional learning activities. Although four competencies did not reach consensus, the results suggest that leveling is possible. Ongoing research is needed to further validate or revise the findings from this study.


Interprofessional education Core competencies Learner leveling Competency leveling 



We wish to acknowledge and thank those interprofessional education experts who agreed to participate in this study. We also wish to acknowledge the contributing work of our colleagues who are co-members of HealthSim United, a non-profit organization formed to facilitate simulation that is “always interprofessional” and “always has family presence.”

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The institutional review boards of the authors’ associated universities approved the study. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Medical Science Educators 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Kansas School of Medicine-WichitaWichitaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Health Sciences, Office of Medical EducationEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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