HPM Academy: Action Learning

Would you like to join an Action Learning Set with HR/OD/workforce colleagues?

Would you like to

- Discuss complex work challenges with peers from other NHS organisations?

- Find out how peers in other organisations are tackling similar issues?

- Create a supportive learning group to help you find new perspectives on work issues?

- Expand your network of colleagues outside your organisation

Who are HPMA London Action Learning Sets for?

These Action Learning Sets are aimed at HPMA London members who would like to meet with peers from other organisations in London to work through current challenges and problems in an action orientated learning process.

We aim to set up Action Learning Sets according to demand from London HPMA members, for example:

· ALSs for band 8 HR Business Partners or HR Managers

· ALS for band 6/7 L&D professionals

· ALS for band 6/7 HR professionals

Call for facilitators: If you would like to develop your facilitation skills/experience and broaden your network, we also have one or two opportunities available to facilitate a pan

London Action Learning Set (ALS) of HR/OD professionals. Please get in touch with diana.cliff@rmh.nhs.uk .

What is Action Learning?

“Action learning is a process which involves working on real challenges, using the knowledge and skills of a small group of people combined with skilled questioning, to re-interpret old and familiar concepts and produce fresh ideas. “ (Action Learning Associates)

In action learning, learning is the product of knowledge, questioning and reflecting. Taking action is crucial and action learning assumes the only real learning comes from doing something and then reflecting on the outcome. ALS members support and challenge one another to think, and take action, “outside the box”. Action learning posits that we may well already have enough knowledge and what we need are new ways of applying what we know to new situations.

The ALS may decide to focus on specific issues which are facing all ALS members or have a more wide-ranging agenda. The topics brought to an ALS for discussion are actual issues and challenges facing its members. Each member has the opportunity to describe their issue, following which others in the group will provide contributions in the form of questions, suggestions and feedback.  Reflection on the discussion should follow, and a decision made on the action to be taken. The member will report back to the group on the outcome of their actions at the following session.

What supports ALSs to be most effective?

From our experience of running ALSs so far, ALSs work best when:

  • All participants commit to attendance and consider ALS attendance as important as other work commitments. ALS discussions are about your current work and so should support you to be more effective in meeting your current work commitments..

  • Participants bring live work problems and challenges to the group (in each ALS meeting, there is usually time for at least 2 or 3 particular issues to be discussed)

  • The group is clear from the outset about their objectives and how the group will operate, taking responsibility for reviewing this on a regular basis

Composition of Action Learning Sets

  • The ALSs will be facilitated by an experience facilitator with up  to ten participants in each set (and a minimum of seven).

  • Participants from Action Learning Sets will come from different Trusts from across London (unless we have enough people interested in an ALS in any particular area)

  • ALSs will compose of HR/OD/workforce practitioners working at a broadly similar level and in broadly similar jobs. 

Timings of the group

 Participants can decide how often they want to meet and for how long. Previous ALSs met for about 2.5/3 hours, every 2/3 months.


Venues can be offered by ALS members on a rotation basis or they can be hosted by the facilitator.

Application Process

Please let Diana (Diana.cliff@rmh.nhs.uk) know if you are interested, at the latest by 26 January. We are particularly looking for band 6/7 HR and L&D professionals to join some new groups.




Group Pages

Group News

This month we’re pleased to share the shortlist success of members and colleagues in both the Per

Latest Tweet Follow us
Book your place at the #HPMAEastern Autumn meeting on 27 Sept with thanks to @MillsandReeve Cambridge for a morning… https://t.co/kkuS3WiKaY