Action Learning

Date posted: Monday March 24, 2014

Action Learning is a part of our education on the Scheme, and we have been placed in groups of approximately 8-10 trainees. I had never heard of it prior to starting the scheme but have found it really valuable. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I thought it would be useful to give a brief overview of what it entails. It may sound a bit like group therapy at times but that's not the intention!


The idea is that you bring a problem or an issue to your group, no matter how small it seems. The reality is sometimes small problems can be bothering you more than you think. That person will describe their problem to the group without being interrupted. Once they have finished, the rest of the group can ask any clarifying or factual questions to understand the context better.

The group will then work and learn together, allowing the individual with the problem to reflect and review what action they have so far taken and what they can learn. The idea is that this should guide that person to determining their own next steps of how they can tackle their problem. Once the clarification questions are over, the key is to ask open ended questions so you aren't suggesting solutions for that person but enabling them to think about the solutions themselves. This is much harder than it sounds!

Our group is facilitated by a Chief Executive and Advanced Nurse Practitioner based within our region, so actually there are networking opportunities too. My understanding is next year we don't have a facilitator and become and independent group, so now are halfway into the first year, we are being encouraged to challenge each other more. Also harder than it sounds!

I would be lying if I said the Scheme is easy, it is actually very tough and overwhelming at times. ALS is a great way of supporting one another and getting the most out of the Scheme.