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Action learning sets are structured sessions which enable small groups to address challenging and complex issues, by meeting on a regular basis and working together to explore and resolve the issue. 

Action Learning Process
Action Learning Process

Role of the Facilitator

The ALS will be initially guided by a Facilitator whose role will be:

To initially guide the process
To remind set members of the discipline of action learning

  • Is support & challenge present?
  • Are people sharing problems?
  • Is it always the same old few?
  • Are people actively listening & contributing?
  • Is action happening outside the meetings?
  • Is learning happening, at a personal and group level?

To highlight helpful & less helpful behaviours
To offer feedback to the set

Role of the participants

Person bringing the problem ALS Members
  • Prepare
  • Give sufficient context
  • Point out what is not helping you (but remain open)
  • Develop action points
  • Work on these before the next meeting
  • Reflect on your learning & share this
  • Keep focus on the person presenting
  • Listen actively
  • Keep to ground rules
  • Show interest & empathy
  • Learn not to interrupt
  • Ask for clarification
  • Be honest, open, specific & sensitive in your feedback

Further reading on Action Learning Sets

Action learning sets were developed by Reg Revans, a former Professor of the University of Manchester and are a globally recognised effective learning method. Read this article in the L&D Toolkit by Reg Revans by clicking here.

Video Learning About Action Learning Sets

Watch these video resources about Action Learning Sets.
The first is a short YouTube video that gives a brief overview. Click here to load the video.