Reflections on the use of co-design to develop a genetic counselling curriculum fit for purpose for the genomic era: a case study

Alison McEwen, Jan Mclean, Chris Jacobs


The era of genomic medicine heralds a pivotal moment for the genetic counselling profession, forcing a re-evaluation of the traditional roles of genetic counsellors and the emergence of new roles. Education providers have an exciting opportunity to incorporate the complexity of a rapidly-changing profession into curriculum design and the education of future generations of genetic counsellors. Co-design invites stakeholders to become participants, contributors and partners in the design process, to create a collective perspective on a complex issue. At University of Technology Sydney, development of a new ‘Master of Genetic Counselling’ program began by asking how best to design curriculum in times of rapid change in the field. Using co-design principles, we engaged members of the profession and other key stakeholders in activities exploring this matter. Engagement in program design fostered a sense of ownership and commitment to educating the genetic counsellors of the future among the current workforce. Early work has prepared us to engage with students as partners and build the foundation for a flexible and emergent curriculum that is responsive to the changing needs of the profession.


Genetic counselling; co-design; curriculum; education

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