Developing core interprofessional competencies for community rehabilitation practitioners: Findings from an Australian study
This study aimed to determine the core competencies that underpin the practice of community rehabilitation (CR) practitioners working in a single state in Australia. Using a recursive and consultative methodology designed to build consensus, CR professionals, trainers, educators, and researchers developed a preliminary set of core interprofessional competencies that were considered essential to their practice. Data were collected in four main stages that engaged practitioners and experts in the CR field in the process of identifying, defining, validating, and endorsing a set of competencies. The first stage involved focus groups with 50 senior practitioners in metropolitan, rural/remote, regional, and indigenous communities. The second and third stages involved expert panels consisting of 20 trainers/educators, senior leaders, and scholars who refined, defined and validated the competency areas and developed statements that reflected the data.These statements formed the basis of a survey that was distributed to all current CR practitioners based in this state for endorsement, 40 of whom responded. Ten competencies emerged from this process. Although there are limitations to the application of competencies, they will have significant implications for the future training of CR practitioners who can transcend professional boundaries.