Action Learning Sets (ALS)

Action Learning is a method of problem solving for managers which offers scope for personal and organisational development. It is based on established peer support with the aid of an experienced facilitator.

Unlike most traditional forms of management training and education, action learning is not based on solutions that are delivered but rather on the re-examination of problems and their resolution. An essential part of this process is taking action and learning from the outcomes of the action. This is the basis of the technique that is currently being widely used.

In particular, managers value the benefit of working with peers outside their own department and free from political agendas. Each manager is able to bring issues to the table without bias.

Action learning has no simple definition it is only truly understood by practicing the techniques with a skilled facilitator.

Guidance on the Action Learning Sets Process

How to Prepare in Advance of the First ALS


During the ALS

Following the ALS

Those people who have received suggestions and committed to actions are expected to undertake them, and then be in a position to briefly report back to the ALS group at the start of the next ALS


There is an expectation that everything discussed in ALS will be maintained in confidence by all members of the group. Peer support can only effectively occur with high levels of trust. Not everyone will be able to have their topics discussed within an ALS. The group will need to utilise each ALS opportunity, and ensure balance across the ALSs to ensure everyone has had the opportunity to receive suggestions

Last updated 23/11/12 Jean Bennett
Review Date Aug 2014

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