Research repeatedly suggests that a lack of autism awareness, plus poor interprofessional working, is undermining the development of effective autism provision across Scottish services. In response, the University of Aberdeen developed an interprofessional education (IPE) programme in Autism and Learning designed to address these problems. This paper critically examines an evaluative research study of the effectiveness and impact of the programme. An adapted version of the Kirkpatrick–Barr et al. Framework of Outcomes is used as an analytical tool to explore the facilitating and inhibiting factors that influence the ‘implementation gap’; that is, translation of policy into effective interprofessional practice. Key barriers to implementation are explored in detail. It is concluded that effective interprofessional practice and positive outcomes for service users can only be assured by a commitment to ongoing IPE and service evaluation, followed by concerted, joint action to address barriers to implementation.
- implementation gap