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Patient Safety Curriculum Guide

Background | Resources



The World Health Organization (WHO) seeks to contribute towards safer health care in all WHO Member States by working in partnership with health care and education authorities and other related organizations and leaders to ensure that patient safety education is part of international and national health agendas.

The introduction of patient safety into health professional education should contribute towards building a foundation of knowledge and skills that will better prepare students, as well as generate a future workforce educated in patient safety and capable of meeting the demands of today's complex health care environments. What is needed is a patient safety curriculum with a multi-professional perspective, a systems approach and a global reach.

This is why the World Health Organization's (WHO) Patient Safety Education programme, international professional federations and academic leaders from around the world came together to develop the Multi-professional Patient Safety Curriculum Guide for undergraduate and graduate patient safety education in dentistry, medicine, midwifery, nursing and pharmacy.

In early 2010, an Expert Working Group was called to deliver the multi-professional edition of the Curriculum Guide. The Expert Working Group is comprised of academics, educators, clinicians and policy-makers from the six WHO regions, as well as representatives from the professional associations of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Pharmaceutical Federation, (FIP), International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF), World Dental Federation (FDI), and the World Medical Association (WMA). Click HERE for a powerpoint presentation on the Multi-professional Patient Safety Curriculum Guide.


The Patient Safety Curriculum Guide Programme has as its overarching goal to develop a multi-professional curriculum resource relevant to a wide range of health care professionals. It aims to:

  1. Support patient safety education by creating and disseminating curriculum resources to facilitate training of health care professionals in the field of patient safety.
  2. Provide the Multi-professional edition of the Patient Safety Curriculum Guide that can be adapted or modified to suit the educational needs of health professional students in patient safety.
  3. Empower teaching institutions build capacity in patient safety.
  4. Ensure the programme and products are at all times culturally sensitive to the needs of all Member States and applicable to multiple and different health education systems.
  5. Raise global awareness and engage commitment of the need for patient safety education and training for health care professionals.
  6. Act as a knowledge hub for expertise and experience in Patient Safety education and training.

Strategic Objectives

  1. Work with stakeholders to develop, disseminate and test a Multi-professional edition of the Patient Safety Curriculum Guide (PSCG-Multi-professional) and toolkit for use in the education of health professionals at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  2. Incorporate learning from the evaluation of the WHO Patient Safety Curriculum Guide for Medical Schools in the content of PSCG-Multi-professional
  3. Use knowledge and expertise to support organizations in their own development of patient safety education tools
  4. Encourage and facilitate the development of national and local tools that support patient safety education and training for health care professionals
  5. Work with stakeholders to develop and deliver WHO e-courses based on the PSCG-Multi-professional topics.


  • UN agencies (UN Foundation, Intl. Bureau of Education)
  • National and international professional federations (FDI, FIP,ICN, ICM, WMA) and regulatory associations
  • Top dentistry, medical, midwifery, nursing, and pharmacists schools and universities in the world ; Top regional and country schools and universities
  • Medical/nursing/midwifery/dentistry/pharmacy students and students associations (IFMSA, IADS, IPSF and ICN-SN and etc.)
  • WHO Regional Offices and Country Offices
  • Ministries of health and education

The experts met in Paris, at a meeting hosted by ISQua, in October 2010 and achieved consensus on the curriculum content for use in the training of all health professionals around the world. Issues discussed at the meeting included:

  • Multi-professional content of the updated Curriculum Guide;
  • Inclusion of case studies;
  • Cross-professional collaboration for global dissemination;
  • Strategies for implementation and evaluation;
  • Launch of the WHO Patient Curriculum Guide: Multi-professional Edition in 2011.

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Powerpoint Presentation on generic curriculum guide

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