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Integrating SusQI into Curricula

Quality improvement (QI) is recognised as a key element of professional practice for health professionals. It underpins building capability and leadership in healthcare and acts as a foundation for on-going lifelong learning.


We recommend that SusQI principles be integrated directly into existing QI learning outcomes in curricula- as per recommendations in the 2019 Academy of Medical Royal Colleges report on Developing Quality Improvement into Practice. (p6-10, QI Curriculum)


Some specific curricula and standards which support sustainable healthcare might be useful to review, particularly if you are responsible for curriculum design, or course or programme delivery. These include the GMC Outcomes for graduates 2018 (see excerpt below), the NMC Standards of Proficiency for Midwives 2019 and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists minimum standards for education (which include the incorporation of sustainability issues, which must now filter down to all the OT associations worldwide; the Royal College of Occupational Therapists latest learning standards address this with reference to the WFOT sustainability guiding principles). 

When teaching Sustainability in Quality Improvement, students are most likely to benefit from the theoretical teaching when able to do a practical project. To see how the theory is implemented, check out our examples of how sustainability has been integrated into QI teaching, as well as our teaching template sessions.

Extract from GMC Outcomes for graduates 2018

Sustainable healthcare:

Health promotion and illness prevention 

25   Newly qualified doctors must be able to apply the principles, methods and knowledge of population health and the improvement of health and sustainable healthcare to medical practice. 

f - outline the principles underlying the development of health, health service policy, and clinical guidelines, including principles of health economics, equity, and sustainable healthcare

h - evaluate the role of ecological, environmental and occupational hazards in ill-health and discuss ways to mitigate their effects


Quality improvement:

5   Newly qualified doctors must demonstrate that they can practise safely. They must participate in and promote activity to improve the quality and safety of patient care and clinical outcomes. They must be able to:

e - describe the principles of quality assurance, quality improvement, quality planning and quality control, and in which contexts these approaches should be used to maintain and improve quality and safety

g - apply the principles and methods of quality improvement to improve practice (for example, plan, do, study, act or action research), including seeking ways to continually improve the use and prioritisation of resources

Extract from Academy of Medical Royal Colleges QI curriculum ​

1E    Apply sustainable healthcare principles taking into account the financial, environmental and social impact of health services.

Ref: Training for better outcomes: Developing quality improvement into practice (p6-10, QI Curriculum). Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (2019) 

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