What is Practice Development?

Practice developers are whole systems thinkers and leaders that have an eye on demonstrating the impact and value of innovation for sustainable change.  

Practice Development offers a creative methodology and person-centred design bridging the gap between the rhetoric and the practice of values and culture.

We believe that practice development:

  • is a continuous process of developing person-centred and evidence informed cultures;
  • is enabled by facilitators who authentically engage with individuals and teams to blend personal qualities and creative imagination with practice skills and wisdom;
  • provides learning that brings about multiple transformations of individual and team practices; this is sustained by embedding both practice development processes and outcomes in service, corporate and commissioning strategy.

Practice development is an internationally recognised and sustainable approach that achieves multiple aims in healthcare workplaces and organisations to improve patient or service user experiences of care including:

  • Transforming care and services so that they are person-centred, safe and effective
  • Creating good places to work
  • Ensuring that the best evidence and research informs everyday practice

Practice developers work to embed new and more effective and person-centred ways of working within teams and workplaces.

The practice development approach brings a fresh spark of life into teams and patient or service user care in a different way from other improvement and social research approaches. It is based on specific practice development activities which are strongly influenced by local factors in the team and organisation.

Practice development complements numerous quality and clinical governance methods.

Methodologies, Approaches and Theories

At the England Centre for Practice Development, we use blended methodologies, approaches and theories to test, refine and make our methods and processes work in busy healthcare workplaces including:

  • Action research
  • Evaluation research such as stakeholder evaluation and realistic evaluation
  • Appreciative inquiry
  • Critical creativity
  • Creative hermeneutics
  • Narrative methodologies
  • Co-operative inquiry
  • Action and active learning
  • Discovery learning
  • Work based learning
  • Communities of practice clinical micro-systems framework
  • Solution focused methods

Practice development complements numerous quality and clinical governance methods with its focus on person centred care; knowledge translation and embedding effective workplace cultures.


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 13:58:00