How was the curriculum developed?
The curriculum is a joint collaboration between the Health Service Executive and the Higher Educational Institutions in Ireland which was established in September 2016.
A National Steering Group was set up with key stakeholders from the HSE and HEIs to oversee this development and implementation. A National Working Group was established and comprised one member from each HEI (representing all Schools within health sciences) with ultimate responsibility for the development of the Curriculum content.
Local Working Groups were formed within each HEI to direct key aspects of curriculum development and implementation such as identifying the learner content, approaches, assessments and evaluation of the Curriculum.
This collaboration provides a prime opportunity in Ireland to develop and implement this standardised Curriculum across all undergraduate healthcare programmes. To the best of our knowledge, there is no standardised national curriculum in undergraduate education for all healthcare students in any country in the world. Therefore, this national curriculum marks an exciting opportunity for Ireland to take an international lead in promoting a culture of chronic disease prevention and management through health behaviour change among undergraduate and graduate entry healthcare professional students.
A critical feature of the development of this national curriculum is the alignment between the HSE and the HEIs, ensuring what is learned in the curriculum is modelled in the workplace.
Undergraduate education rather than postgraduate education offers the best timing to prepare students for ‘Making Every Contact Count’ since it will orientate them towards chronic disease prevention from the outset of their clinical careers.