About the Journal

ISSN 2204-7662


Focus on Health Professional Education (FoHPE) is the official journal of the Australian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE), which is the peak organisation for practitioners who educate and train health professionals in Australia and New Zealand.  The refereed journal was formally established in November 1998, and is  published by the Association to promote, support and advance education in all the health professions. 

Focus and scope

The Journal is intended for educators, clinicians and students who have a commitment to improving health care through better learning and teaching.

Four underlying principles distinguish the journal from others:

  • A focus on all health professions: the Journal is multi-professional and this is reflected in its editorial panel, its editorial policy and the balance of articles published in it.
  • A focus on regional issues and concerns: the Journal primarily serves the Western Pacific Region of Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia, and focuses on education and training in this Region.  Nonetheless, it maintains an international outlook, and also deals with issues of global concern.
  • A focus on quality research around teaching and learning: FoHPE is the only regional publication that focuses primarily on research in learning and teaching, curriculum design, assessment, and the evaluation of health professional education.
  • A focus on diverse and stimulating ideas: controversial, challenging and substantive issues face health professional educators and their students, and the Journal provides a forum where these issues can be examined and advanced.

The Editorial Board

The Editorial Board acts as an advisory body to the Editor and the Committee of Management (CoM) of ANZAHPE on the editorial policy of the Journal.  The Editorial Board comprises a number of eminent members in the field of health professional education, and its composition is determined by the CoM, with due regard for the need for representation across disciplines, nationally and internationally.

The roles and responsibilities of members of the Editorial Board are to:

  • advise on the maintenance of standards of the Journal
  • provide guidance on the scope and focus of the Journal
  • advise on refereeing procedures for articles submitted to the Journal
  • advise the Editor on matters such as suitable referees or topics for the Journal
  • report on the views of their various constituencies
  • promote the Journal amongst their various constituencies
  • referee Journal articles as required, including initial decisions on sending out for review.

The Editor

The Editor is appointed by the CoM, to be responsible for the implementation of editorial policy and procedures.  The Editor provides a report to each CoM meeting, and is supported by the Editorial Board. 

Peer review policy and process

The double blind peer review process adopted by the Editorial Board of Focus on Health Professional Education serves two purposes:

  • to advise the Editor whether a manuscript fits within the scope of the Journal and, if it does, whether it is of a standard that is acceptable for publication or, if it is not, whether it can be revised to meet that standard
  • to provide constructive feedback to the author(s) by giving specific indications of where the manuscript does or does not meet the criteria for publication and, where it does not,  to suggest ways in which it could be revised or re-written to meet those criteria.

FoHPE publishes papers in a range of formats, all of which are peer-reviewed and each of which has different requirements, as outlined in the author guidelines:

  • Original research, papers, reviews and reports
  • Short reports or discussion papers
  • Brief innovation reports
  • Letters to the Editor

The criteria for publication referred to above are:

  • the author guidelines have been followed (see author guidelines
  • the manuscript falls within the scope of the Journal (theory, research or practice relevant to health professional educators)
  • the quality of the writing is of a suitable standard (or could be made so)
  • the research is embedded in the existing literature (although this must be in accordance with the limits in words, figures, tables and references of each format (see author guidelines
  • the research makes a contribution to what is already known
  • where relevant, the method, results and discussion are relevant and justified (or could be rendered so by revision)
  • where relevant, ethical approval has been granted.

In terms of authorship, FoHPE follows the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE):

  • substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; and
  • drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
  • final approval of the version to be published; and
  • agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Contributors who do not meet all these criteria are acknowledged at the end of a paper.

The peer review process is outlined below.

  • On submission the manuscript is allotted a unique ID, the submission requirements are checked and the manuscript is referred to an Associate Editor (AE).
  • The AE performs an initial evaluation, attending to word count and briefly checking the criteria above.
  • If the manuscript meets the criteria on initial inspection or if it is considered that the manuscript could be revised to meet the criteria, the AE refers the manuscript to two independent reviewers.
  • Each reviewer performs a more thorough evaluation, as appropriate (e.g., in terms of conceptual framework, grounding in existing literature, methodological approach, data analysis, synthesis and conclusions, overall organisation and clarity, and significance for health professional education), and provides a report for the author(s) and a report for the Editor.
  • If an AE believes a manuscript would benefit from another round of reviews, they may invite reviewers from the previous round/s or new reviewers to evaluate the revised manuscript and response to reviewer comments.
  • The AE reviews the reviewers' reports and advises the Editor.
  • The Editor reviews the reports and the AE’s advice, and confers with the AE, who informs the author(s) of the decision: Acceptance, Request revisions or Rejection.
  • If accepted for publication (possibly following one or more rounds of revisions), manuscripts are reviewed by the copy editor and, where necessary, returned to the author(s) for approval of changes made by the copy editor.
  • The author(s) return the approved manuscript and associated documentation.


Publication frequency

There are four issues per annum in March, June, September and December. 

Publication fees

FoHPE is funded by ANZAHPE.

If any of the authors are current financial members of ANZAHPE from the time of submission to acceptance for publication, there will be no fee to publish. 

If none of the authors listed on the manuscript are a financial member of ANZAHPE at the time of submission to acceptance for publication, a fee of AU$600 will be applied. 

For information on applying for membership with ANZAHPE and associated benefits please see (https://anzahpe.org/About-ANZAHPE-Membership)

Publication fees are reduced to $200 for non-ANZAHPE member authors who reside in HINARI group A and B countries as defined by the World Health Organisation https://www.research4life.org/access/eligibility/

Editorial decision-making is not influenced by publishing fees or waiver status. No fee is associated with the submission and peer review process.


Open access policy

From 1st February 2021 Focus on Health Professional Education (FoHPE) is an open access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or their institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author.

Copyright statement

On acceptance for publication in Focus on Health Professional Education (FoHPE) the copyright of the manuscript is signed over to ANZAHPE, the publisher of FoHPE.

Institutional repository deposit

Authors are encouraged to deposit either the post-peer review version of their manuscript (i.e., the accepted manuscript) or the published PDF of their article in an institutional repository, on condition that they acknowledge the published source with the appropriate citation and link to the published article.


FoHPE is included in the National Library of Australia Australian Web Archive


Intellectual property 

ANZAHPE owns the copyright but not the intellectual property of publications.

Conflict of interest

In the context of health professional education publishing, a conflict of interest exists when a participant in the publication process (author, peer reviewer or editorial staff) has a competing interest that could unduly influence, or be reasonably thought to influence, their responsibilities in the publication process. The publication process includes the submission of papers, peer review, editorial decisions, and communication between authors, reviewers and editors.

If, as an author, you believe that a conflict of interest may exist for you, you should undertake the following steps, and report on them when you submit the paper to the Editorial Office.

  • You should disclose all sources of funding, including any relevant conditions. You should describe your relationship with the funder.
  • You should also disclose any role conflicts that arose in conducting the research, and report what action was taken to minimise the effects of such conflicts, e.g., where you have a vested interest in an evaluation outcome or ensuring data collection and/or analysis was performed.
  • If data are derived from interviews or focus groups, you should provide a statement on reflexivity (your relationship to the participants and the data, and any other issues that may influence the research), as is current best practice in qualitative research.
  • If, for some reason, the potential for influence could not be managed methodologically, you should make a disclosure of conflict of interest.

If you believe that no conflicts of interest exist, you should declare accordingly, because such a declaration will be required as a condition of review and publication.

Editorial Board Conflict of Interest

If an Associate Editor (AE) is assigned a manuscript in which they have a conflict of interest with one or more authors, they will notify the journal administrators, who will reassign the manuscript to another AE. If the Editor has a conflict of interest with one or more authors of a manuscript, the Deputy Editor will participate in the review process as Acting Editor.

If an editorial board member submits a manuscript, it will be handled independently: an AE’s submission will be handled by another AE and the Editor’s submission will involve the Deputy Editor as Acting Editor.


Any post publication discussion or corrections are made via the Announcements function on the FoHPE website.

Sharing of research data

FoHPE encourages sharing of research data by authors when appropriate.  Enquiries around sharing of data should be made to the corresponding author.

Appeals policy and process

When an appeal will be considered

Appeals must:

  • be rational arguments not emotional ones
  • clearly explain why you disagree with the decision; provide any new information that you would like the editors to take into consideration. This should not be a repetition of what you have included in your original submission or cover letter
  • include a point-by-point response to any reviewer comments
  • provide any evidence to support your opinion when you believe a reviewer has made technical errors in their assessment of your manuscript or has been biased.

If the editors or reviewers have highlighted shortcomings with your paper that you think you can address, please indicate how you would do this, such as providing further data.

Appeals against editorial fit or the Journal not being the right journal for the article are unlikely to be considered.

Only one appeal is allowed per manuscript, so please spend as much time and effort on writing the letter as you consider necessary to put the case clearly.

Outcome of an appeal

If the Editor is convinced that the decision was a serious mistake, or if the reviewers made errors of fact or showed evidence of bias, the decision on the manuscript will be changed. The manuscript will either: be accepted, accepted subject to revisions, or subjected to further independent review.

If a manuscript is resubmitted for further independent review, there is no guarantee that a manuscript resubmitted using this appeal process will be accepted.

Appeals process: How to prepare

  • Clearly explain why you disagree with the decision; provide any new information that you would like the editors to take into consideration. This should not be a repetition of what you have included in your original submission or cover letter.
  • If the editors or reviewers have highlighted shortcomings with your paper that you think you can address, please indicate how you would do this, such as providing further data.
  • Include a point-by-point response to any reviewer comments.
  • Provide any evidence to support your opinion when you believe a reviewer has made technical errors in their assessment of your manuscript or has been biased.

How to submit

  • Address your appeal letter to Editor, sent via the Journal Editorial Assistant (not the Associate Editor who handled the manuscript); Email address on FoHPE website contact page.
  • The Editor reviews all appeals with assistance from the Editorial Board; the Editorial Office will issue a definitive response within four weeks of receipt. Priority is given to new submissions, so the appeal process may take longer than given above, in which case you will be notified within four weeks of the revised time of receipt.
  • If you are not satisfied with the Editor's response, the next step is to contact the President of ANZAHPE.

Publication ethics

FoHPE is committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity in research publication. The Journal complies with international, national and institutional standards on research involving human participants. In the interest of ensuring research integrity, FoHPE follows the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

FoHPE expects all published research to have obtained ethical approval from an institutional Human Research Ethics Committee where relevant. Ethical approval is unnecessary when all research data is collected from publications, such as systematic and scoping reviews. For any other research type, if authors believe ethical approval was unnecessary, they must provide proof of an exemption on submission of their manuscript in the form of a letter or email from their institution’s research ethics committee. Where research has obtained exemption from ethical approval, authors need to state this in the manuscript’s methods section and demonstrate that the research was conducted in a rigorous and ethical manner.

Allegations of research misconduct

FoHPE neither encourages nor knowingly allows research misconduct, and takes reasonable steps to identify and prevent publication of papers involving research misconduct, defined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) as "Any practice that may affect the research record in terms of findings, conclusions or attribution". This may include, but is not limited to, plagiarism, citation manipulation and falsification or fabrication of data. If research misconduct is identified in an article, either pre or post publication, the Editor follows COPE's principles on how to investigate and deal with allegations of misconduct.

Sources of support

The production of the journal is financed primarily from ANZAHPE membership subscriptions supplemented by royalties and the unpaid work of the Editorial Board and reviewers.

ANZAHPE is a not-for-profit organisation and acknowledges the additional support provided by the University of Otago Library in setting up and maintaining the online service using the Open Journal System.

Journal history

The conversion to an online publication in 2014 provided the opportunity to change the subtitle of the Journal from 'Multi-Disciplinary' to 'Multi-Professional' reflecting the diversity of health professional educators who choose to publish in FoHPE.