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Competency Domain: Interprofessional Communication


Learners/practitioners from different professions communicate with each other in a collaborative, responsive and responsible manner.


To support interprofessional collaborative practice, learners/practitioners are able to:

  • establish team work communication principles
  • actively listen to other team members including patients/clients/families
  • communicate to ensure common understanding of care decisions
  • develop trusting relationships with patients/ clients/families and other team members
  • effectively use information and communication technology to improve interprofessional patient/client/community-centred care, assisting team members in:
    • setting shared goals
    • collaboratively setting shared plans of care;
    • supporting shared decision-making;
    • sharing responsibilities for care across across team members; and
    • demonstrating respect for all team members including patients/clients/families.


Communication skills are essential for all learners/practitioners and involve the ability to communicate effectively with others, especially those from other professions, as well as patients/clients/ families, in a collaborative, responsive and responsible manner. Communication in an interprofessional environment is demonstrated through listening and other non-verbal means, and verbally through negotiating, consulting, interacting, discussing or debating. Respectful interprofessional communication incorporates full disclosure and transparency in all interactions with others including patients/clients/families. All team members enact interprofessional communication that is consistently authentic and demonstrates trust with learners/practitioners, patients/clients and their families.

source: A National Interprofessional Competency Framework, p. 16.


Think about a relationship, personal or professional, where the skills and knowledge discussed above were evident.

  • What made it possible?
  • What were you doing to enable effective communication in that experience?
  • What elements can you identify that supported that good communication experience? (think about personal, organisational, climate, etc.)

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