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.

A priority of the roadmap is the Curriculum Development in Intellectual Disability Health Project.

One aim of the project was to develop the Intellectual Disability Health Capability Framework (framework). The framework sets out clear capabilities, learning outcomes and guides for universities and accreditation authorities. The framework aims to support universities to improve education and training for health students. This will help health students have the right knowledge, skills and attitudes to care for people with intellectual disability. We released the framework in April 2024. 

The next stage of the project will focus on education resource development to support implementation.  This includes guides and resources to:

  • support universities to apply intellectual disability health care principles into their pre-registration education courses.
  • support accreditation authorities to consider accreditation standards that show the importance of intellectual disability health capabilities.

To get the project right, we are working with:

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

To support the project we have:

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


We allocated $4.7 million over four years (from 2021-2022 to 2024-2025) to this project.


The project aims to:

  • have the health needs of people with intellectual disability recognised by universities and accreditation authorities 
  • have intellectual disability health content and principles included in  pre-registration education courses
  • have the Intellectual Disability Health Capability Framework included or referenced in accreditation standards 
  • 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

  • Refine final core capabilities
  • Develop implementation guidelines and supporting resources for the framework
  • Prepare a 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
  • Develop resource hub 
  • 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) in February 2022. The EAG provides expert advice and guidance on education and training actions under the roadmap.

Currently, the EAG is guiding the planning and delivery of the project. This includes providing advice about:

  • health professional undergraduate education
  • intellectual disability health learning outcomes and accreditation
  • 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.
Date last updated:

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.