Answer to "What makes a good interprofessional facilitator?"


An interprofessional educator must, firstly, be a good educator with traits of curiosity, creativity and ability to organise new ways of doing things. The interprofessional educator must be confident and comfortable within their professional role, and have a good understanding of the roles of others. Interprofessional facilitation is not a solo pursuit, and the IP facilitator must be a good team player, able to model with co-facilitators of other professions a range of interprofessional competencies.


As with all health professional educators, the IP facilitator needs to have a strong understanding of contemporary educational theories and educational methodologies such as working with simulated patients, various types of simulation and hybrid simulation/practice education, and ways to authentically assess interprofessional learning.  To support their educational practice, the IP facilitator must be familiar with interprofessional competency frameworks and models, and aware of contemporary interprofessional research (Thistlethwaite & Nisbet 2011). In addition to working in interprofessional teaching teams the IP coordinator must be able to build links in practice settings, in order to facilitate practice based learning activities.


Facilitation of online IPL may also be required, with additional skills in education in the online environment a necessity.



EGAN-LEE, E., BAKER, L., TOBIN, S., HOLLENBERG, E., DEMATTEO, D., and REEVES, S. (2011). Neophyte facilitator experiences of interprofessional education: implications for faculty development. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 25: 333–338.

EVANS, S., KNIGHT, T., SøNDERLUND, A., and TOOLEY, G. (2014). Facilitators’ experience of delivering asynchronous and synchronous online interprofessional education. Medical Teacher, 36(12): 1051–1056

EVANS, S., SHAW, N., WARD, C. and HAYLEY, A. (2016). “Refreshed…reinforced…reflective”: A qualitative exploration of interprofessional education facilitators’ own interprofessional learning and collaborative practice, Journal of Interprofessional Care, 30, 702-709. 

REEVES, S., PELONE, F., HENDRY, J., LOCK, N., MARSHALL, J., PILLAY, L. & WOOD. R. (2016). Using a meta-ethnographic approach to explore the nature of facilitation and teaching approaches employed in interprofessional education, Medical Teacher, 38(12): 1221-1228

THISTLETHWAITE, JE. & NISBET, G.  (2011). Preparing educators for interprofessional learning: rationale, educational theory and delivery.  In: KITTO, S., CHESTERS, J., THISTLETHWAITE, J.E, and REEVES, S. (eds). (2011). A sociology of interprofessional healthcare practice: critical reflections and concrete solutions.  New York, Nova. pp. 169-184. ISBN: 978-1-60876-866-0