Student IPE Manual

Student Certification in IPE Guidelines

The Introduction

Complexities in the current healthcare system require new models of delivering care. The factors driving changes in care delivery and health professions education include patient safety and the Triple Aim – improving patient satisfaction, fostering better health among populations, and reducing the cost of care. Collaborative teamwork can be one of the solutions to stabilize health care expenditures. In healthcare, teams are comprised of many disciplines.  This application process provides an opportunity for health professions students to learn more about the roles and scope of practice of multiple disciplines and develop skills in collaborative practice. For more information regarding the disciplines involved in this certificate program, see Appendix III of the IPE Application packet.

In 2007, the West Michigan Interprofessional Education Initiative (WMIPEI) was organized to identify ways to develop collaborative, innovative and interprofessional initiatives across the disciplines, learning institutions and health care systems. Founding partners are Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners, and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Since 2009, Ferris State University’s College of Pharmacy has joined as affiliate partners. Membership in the initiative includes 140 partners representing 27 health-related agencies and institutions. The infrastructure includes an advisory council, six workgroup specialties (clinical setting, curriculum, cross-professional competency, simulation, service, scholarship), an annual conference and PIPES (Promoting Interprofessional Education for Students), a professional student organization.

The name change of WMIPEI to the Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research Center (MIPERC) was announced at the 7th annual conference in September 2014. MIPERC captures the broader geographical addition of new partners and the expansion of new initiatives. An Instrumental partner is the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education established in 2012. The mission of the National Center is to serve as a repository of evidence-based interprofessional collaborative practice tools and to further promote scholarship and translational research in selected incubator sites in the United States through public-private funding. MIPERC is one of the eight pioneer innovation incubator sites.

The MIPERC Curriculum Workgroup has created an interprofessional education (IPE) certificate for students earning a degree in a health or health-related discipline. This certificate program provides recognition for students who are developing skills in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) core competencies and the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) core domains. The IPE student certificate is an immersion process that requires specific interprofessional activities and self-reflection for the student. Students will be awarded a certificate after completion of core requirements. The length of time to earn a certificate is a minimum of one calendar year but can be longer based on the students’ workload and ability to complete the requirements.

As you continue to develop your professional identity and learn about interprofessional education and collaborative practice you will find that learning about, from, and with each other gives you a wider worldview of the future of healthcare. As you progress through the MIPERC modules, PIPES meetings, interprofessional simulations, conferences, and other forums -- you will become familiar with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) reports. You will understand that this type of practice is one team composed of many professions. It is a collaborative process with mutual goal sharing. Benefits include understanding the role of other practitioners, improving communication skills, enhancing staff and patient satisfaction, and developing skills in team-based care and increasing workplace productivity.

The Requirements 

The Curriculum Workgroup has identified ten requirements surrounding six categories (outlined in Requirement #6) for certificate completion. These requirements are as follows: 

  1. Students will complete the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Survey (ICCAS). The survey is available on Blackboard.
  2. Next, it is recommended students complete the four foundational online learning modules located on Blackboard. These include Introduction to Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice, Patient Safety, Team Dynamics, and Tips for Implementing Healthcare Behavioral Changes.
  3. Students must complete at least 1 interprofessional service-learning activity and accumulate at least 40 hours of service-learning. An interprofessional learning activity must include students from at least two different disciplines. At the end of the service-learning activity, the student is required to write a short reflective essay to address the following: 
    • Describe the setting, patient population, and problem being addressed. 
    • What discipline(s) did the other students represent? 
    • How will this experience affect your practice in the future?

Up to 20 hours can be applied from currently involved activities in your own discipline. The remaining hours must come from active interprofessional learning activities, as directed by a program champion. To gauge whether an activity qualifies as an interprofessional service-learning activity please refer to the definition.

“Interprofessional service-learning is a form of experiential education in which two or more professions engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote active and reflective learning about, from, and with each other to enable collaboration and improve health outcomes”

Used with permission from Jacoby, B. (2015). Service-Learning Essentials: Questions, Answers, and Lessons Learned, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; WHO 2010

  1. Students must be members of PIPES (Promoting Interprofessional Education for Students). Certificate applicants must attend at least 3 meetings. One of these meetings must be a simulation. PIPES will also provide a venue for two interprofessional simulations during the academic year.
  2. Students must attend at least one interprofessional conference or forum for a total of four hours. Conferences and forums should be approved by your faculty champion. Examples of possible conferences and forums to attend include: 
  1. Within the categories listed below, students must complete a total of eight activities. Of these eight activities, one must come from each of the five required categories. The remaining three activities may come from any of the categories listed in the table below.
    • Required Category
      • Service-Based Learning
      • Conference/Forums
      • Online Learning Modules
      • PIPES Membership
      • Simulation
    • Optional Category
      • IPE Case Study
      • Interprofessional Clinic Experience


For all activities, the student should obtain certificates of attendance from the specified venues or, if certificates are not available, a faculty signature to document attendance/participation. 

  1. Over the course of certificate completion, the student must interact with at least five different disciplines. In the reflective essay described in #8, briefly discuss the context and significance of your interactions. 
  2. At the completion of all certificate requirements, a summative reflection paper, of no more than 3-5 pages, will be completed addressing the following items.
    • Describe and integrate your understanding of the interprofessional experiences for each of the four IPEC core competencies (Values/Ethics, Roles/Responsibilities, Interprofessional Communication, and Teamwork/Team-Based Care) under the single domain of Interprofessional Collaboration. For more detail on what each domain represents, see Appendix II of the application packet.
    • Assess the significance of your interactions with the five other disciplines you worked with while earning this certificate.
    • Critique the two most significant interprofessional practice knowledge and skills you learned or improved upon in your interprofessional experiences.
  3. The capstone experience can be presented at multiple venues including the MIPERC Health Expo, or the annual MIPERC conference.  Progress reports and promotion of IPE activities to satisfy the requirements of the certificate will be emailed to each enrollee on a monthly basis. Each student’s champion advisor will also receive a report and IPE updates monthly.
  4. The length of time to earn a certificate is a minimum of one calendar year. The certificate must be earned before graduation from your program.

Page last modified July 9, 2021