Facilitating critical reflection to enhance learning and transform practice

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Title: Facilitating critical reflection to enhance learning and transform practice

Aim: Provide an overview of how an academic framework, providing credit for practice based learning, can transform practitioners and deliver enhanced practice outcomes.

Background: Health and social care provision is increasingly challenging within an ever evolving context, high expectations and increased scrutiny. Greater resource scrutiny has made it all the more relevant to have flexible and accessible learning that enables practitioners to simultaneously achieve personal growth, achievement and reward while also contributing to organisational and practice development. This paper presents an academic framework which recognises and values the fundamental importance of life-long learning based in practice to deliver high quality, safe and effective person-centred healthcare (McCormack and McCance 2010).

Programme: The Developing Practice in Healthcare programme encourages practitioners to work with the principles of collaboration, inclusiveness and participation to explore healthcare culture and context and expand their vision of healthcare. The ethos behind this programme is the development of person-centred cultures and practice expertise, using a professional practice-based learning model that embraces practitioner inquiry and practitioner research (McCormack 2009), thereby contributing to the development of knowledgeable and dynamic person-centred practitioners who are sensitive to the needs of people who use healthcare services. The programme values knowledge gained through critical reflection on practice experience used in conjunction with the range of knowledge sources.

Critical reflection offers a way of bridging the gap between theory and practice and is recognised, both in research and in this programme, as a defining characteristic of professional practice. However, the development of critical reflection remains challenging and evidence from implementation of this framework highlights the pivotal role the practice based facilitator has in enabling the student to develop their reflective knowledge and skills and subsequently evidence their learning within a portfolio. Person-centred facilitation requires the facilitator to be aware of self, emotionally intelligent and have an understanding of the environment. Successful facilitation of learning within this framework has been shown to result in professional and personal flourishing and enhanced patient outcomes.

Outcomes: Students innovative practice developments have impacted positively on nursing, nurse education, patient and services across all aspects of healthcare. Student initiatives, through practice based learning, have substantially changed the way in which healthcare is delivered as students have explicitly embraced the principles of collaboration, inclusion and participation which underpin the programme.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 8 Sept 2016
EventInternational Practice Development Conference - Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Sept 201610 Sept 2016


ConferenceInternational Practice Development Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Critical Reflection
  • Practice based learning


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