Action Learning Sets

A collaborative, group-based method for resolving complex issues. It supports critical thinking about nursing practice at both organisational and individual levels

Action Learning Sets (ALS) is a method for resolving complex issues. In a mental health service setting, ALS has the potential to:

  • challenge perceptions and beliefs about mental health nursing practice
  • shift and/or improve organisational thinking
  • increase the ability of individuals to self-reflect, and to improve their critical thinking about practice issues

How do Action Learning Sets work?

ALS involves convening a small group (or ‘set’), and asks each participant within the group to identify a complex issue they wish to work on. The group meets regularly to share and reflect on their progress with this problem. Through the use of specific ‘skilled listening’ and questioning techniques, the group applies its collective experience and expertise in order to support participants to 1) re-frame their understanding and assumptions about a problem, 2) use the task as a vehicle for learning, and 3) move towards a resolution.

What will participants learn in this one day workshop?

  1. An overview of the theoretical underpinnings of Action Learning Sets
  2. The structure of an ALS ‘group’, and the role of individuals within an ALS
  3. Practical experience of working through problems using ALS, using ‘real life’ examples
  4. Key ingredients and considerations for running successful ALS

Who will benefit from this workshop? Mental health nurses who want to improve their reflective and critical thinking skills. It is particularly useful for nurses who are leading project and/or driving change within their organisations.

How do I enrol in this one-day workshop?

Currently, the CPN can only accept enrolments from Nurse Education teams within Victorian area mental health services. If you are an individual or a group of practitioners, contact your Education team to express your interest. Services are entitled to a minimum of two CPN workshops per year at no cost, with a minimum of 15 participants each.