Joint Accreditation

Joint Accreditation Criteria Review: JAC5

The second grouping of JA criteria is headed Activity Planning and Evaluation. This set of 8 criteria focus on how individual activities are designed, implemented, and evaluated.

JAC5 states: 

The provider generates activities/educational interventions that are designed to change the skills/strategy, or performance of the healthcare team, and/or patient outcomes as described in its mission statement.

In the previous criterion, we looked at why an educational activity needs to happen. In this criterion, we build on that what to identify what learners are going to do differently.

We can think of learner change in different levels that build on each other:

  • Knowledge – learners now know something they didn’t know before
  • Skills/strategies – learners have new skills or strategies so that they can put what they know into practice
  • Performance – learners actually use those skills or strategies when they are caring for patients or working with their team

I’m sure you noticed that activities can also be designed to change patient outcomes. That does build off of performance, but because it looks at patient data and not just the members of the healthcare team, we usually think of that one as its own thing.


This is something that’s been covered in other posts, undoubtedly more times than I can remember, but it always bears repeating because it is such an important component of activity planning.

It is all well and good to provide knowledge to learners, but if they aren’t able to use that knowledge, then what’s the point of the educational intervention? Ultimately, we need learners to walk away with new skills and/or strategies that they can use in their practice. This then, hopefully, leads to better patient outcomes, and so on up the hierarchy.

The thing to remember when looking at interprofessional education is that we want the healthcare team to change, not just the individual members of the team. We want them to have new communication skills or to change how they make space for the special skills each member of the team brings to the care of their patients. So when we’re planning an activity, we need to make sure to address the team when we think about what the activity is designed to change. What skills or strategies will the activity provide to the team? How do want the team to perform differently? Or, of course, what patient outcomes will change as a result of this activity?

As with all JA criteria, remember to come back to the team. We use the same terminology for both single-profession and interprofessional activities, so it’s always good to have that reminder that interprofessional activities need to add “for the team” to those terms.

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Joint Accreditation Criteria Review: JAC4

The second grouping of JA criteria is headed Activity Planning and Evaluation. This set of eight criteria focus on how individual activities are designed, implemented, and evaluated.

JAC4 states: 

The provider incorporates into IPCE activities the educational needs (knowledge, skills/strategy, or performance) that underlie the practice gaps of the healthcare team and/or the individual members’ knowledge, skills/strategy, or performance as members of the healthcare team.

Education needs to have a reason. Why are we teaching this? Why aren’t learners doing what we want them to do?

This criterion looks at two intertwined pieces of answering that “why”: Practice gaps and educational needs. And a key thing to remember about JA is that we are designing education for the healthcare team. There may be a practice gap for the team as a whole. Maybe there are serious communication issues. Or it could be that individual members of the team are missing something. Physicians may need to better understand the role of the pharmacist and use different strategies when writing orders.

And, yes, sometimes you will have an activity that is intended for a single profession. To maintain JA, 25% of a program’s activities need to be interprofessional. Most programs have a higher percentage than that, but few have a program that is 100% interprofessional. But it is still a good exercise to think about the team and individual roles within the team as you are planning your activity.

I like to think of the practice gap as the forest and the educational needs as the trees. We get a big picture of something that’s not quite right when we identify a practice gap. We then can look for the reasons that gap exists to identify some educational needs. What don’t people know? What skills or strategies could they use to implement what they know? What are they just not doing?

This criterion asks you to show that you do that assessment and then use those educational needs to design the activity. You found an educational need that people just don’t know about a policy or best practice? Design for that. People are just not doing what they’ve been taught in other formats? Design for that.

And always keep the healthcare team in mind as you identify gaps and needs. Or keep them in mind at least 25% of the time.

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