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  • People with intellectual disability experience significant health inequity and poorer health outcomes.
  • Health professionals play a critical role in reducing health inequity and providing people with intellectual disability with safe and good quality health care.
  • The education and training of health professionals needs to prepare them for this role.
  • Accreditation authorities and standards for programs of study contribute by stating the requirements that programs and their education providers must meet and requiring education providers to demonstrate how they meet the standards.

The Department of Health and Aged Care (the Department) is leading the Intellectual Disability Health Curriculum Development Project, a short-term action under the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability. The AMC is represented on the Drafting Group and the Expert Advisory Group for the development of this project.

A key component of the project is the development of an Intellectual Disability Health Capability Framework (the Framework) in collaboration with people with intellectual disability, their families, carers and support workers, First Nations peoples, accreditation bodies, universities, health professionals and academic experts.

Public consultation on the draft Intellectual Disability Health Capability Framework is now open. Please visit the Department’s consultation hub.


The purpose of the Framework is to set out clear core capabilities (the Capabilities) and learning outcomes regarding health care for people with intellectual disability. The Framework also includes implementation guidelines, tools, and resources to support:

  • accreditation authorities to integrate the Capabilities within health professional accreditation standards, and
  • education providers to integrate intellectual disability health care principles into their current pre-registration education curricula.

The aim of the project is to prepare graduates with the required capabilities to provide the highest quality care to people with intellectual disability throughout their future health professional careers.

Future plans

The next stage of the Intellectual Disability Health Curriculum Framework Development Project, led by a team at the University of New South Wales, aims to curate and develop intellectual disability health resources to support the integration of the Framework into accreditation standards and health professional pre-registration education curricula. This phase involves significant consultation and co-design with people with intellectual disability, and consultation with key stakeholders including support networks of people with intellectual disability, accreditation authorities, and the higher education sector.

The objectives of this next stage are to:

  • scope potential barriers and facilitators to implementation in accreditation standards and create a plan to support integration
  • curate a list of existing foundational knowledge and teaching resources and provide guidance around their use, and
  • identify and develop additional priority resources and tools to support education providers to implement the Framework. One such tool will support education providers to include people with intellectual disability and their support networks in the design and delivery of curriculum content.

The project began in June 2023 and will run for two years, with resources released throughout this time.

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