Curriculum development in intellectual disability health

Health professionals need the right knowledge, skills and attitudes to care for people with intellectual disability. The Curriculum Development Project will support universities and accreditation authorities to improve pre-registration education for health professionals to better meet this need.


The Australian Government released the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability (roadmap) to address serious health inequities faced by people with intellectual disability.

Developing and implementing the Curriculum Development Project in Intellectual Disability Health is a priority of the roadmap.

The main focus of the project is to develop an Intellectual Disability Health Capability Framework (framework). We are doing this in collaboration with:

  • people with intellectual disability
  • their families, carers and support workers
  • accreditation authorities
  • academic experts and universities
  • health professionals.

The framework will:

  • set out clear capabilities and learning outcomes about health care for people with intellectual disability
  • include implementation guidelines and resources to:
    • support universities to integrate intellectual disability health care principles into their pre-registration education curricula
    • support accreditation authorities to consider accreditation standards that reflect the importance of the framework.

To support the project we have:

The project will also set up an online resources hub to host the framework and supporting resources.  Once established, the National Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health will host the online hub.


We allocated $4.7 million over four years (from 2021-22) to this project.


The project aims to:

  • have universities and accreditation authorities recognise the health needs of people with intellectual disability
  • increase integration and delivery of intellectual disability health content and principles in pre-registration education curricula
  • have accreditation authorities review and update accreditation standards to incorporate or reference the Intellectual Disability Health Capability Framework
  • increase access to resources on intellectual disability health for education providers, students, and health practitioners.


June – December 2022

  • Scoping and gap analysis of undergraduate training
  • Co-design of core capabilities with people with intellectual disability
  • Public Consultation on core capabilities.

January – June 2023

  • Final refinement of core capabilities
  • Development of implementation guidelines and supporting resources for the framework
  • Monitoring and evaluation interim report.

July – December 2023

  • Public consultation on the framework (October 2023)
  • Continued development of supporting resources for the framework.

January – June 2024

  • Final framework delivered
  • Resource hub development
  • Implementation support and promotion.

July 2024 – June 2025

  • Resource hub transition to the National Centre of Excellence
  • Monitoring and evaluation final report
  • Implementation support and promotion.

Expert advisory group

We established the Intellectual Disability Health Education and Training Expert Advisory Group (EAG) to bring expert advice and guidance on education and training actions under the roadmap.

Initially, the EAG will guide the planning and delivery of the project. This includes providing advice about:

  • health professional undergraduate education
  • intellectual disability health learning outcomes and accreditation
  • developing associated resources to support the framework.

The EAG includes representatives from:

  • the education sector
  • intellectual disability academic experts
  • accreditation and registration bodies
  • the Indigenous, health and disability sector
  • people with lived experience.



For more information about the Curriculum Development Project, please contact the Department of Health and Aged Care.

Intellectual disability health contact

Contact us for more information about our programs and initiatives for intellectual disability health.
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