#APConnect - Practice Enquiry Circles (Code: C1289)


No suitable dates or locations? Please register your interest and we will let you know about new events as they are announced.

Course Video

Who is this for?

The module might be of particular interest to project leads on the #APConnect Skylark pathway, or other experienced APs (or those in AP-type roles) who are leading quality improvement projects.

APs may also be known by a range of titles such as:

  • Teaching and Learning Coaches
  • Quality Manager • CPD and Learning Manager
  • Professional Development Manager

The model has the potential to be highly flexible, and as such may suit a range of contexts from cross-college or intra-organisational projects to more localised activities at the department level. It may be particularly useful in addressing 'sticky' problems that have proven difficult to resolve in other ways. The principles of co-production which underpin the model also present opportunities to engage with a wider range of stakeholders with projects internally or externally.

Training aim

  • Pilot use of a Practice Enquiry Circle to explore problems or challenges related to quality improvement in a democratic environment.
  • Develop and extend the knowledge & skills of APs in using co-production techniques within their own organisational contexts and to embed evidence-based critical enquiry into quality improvement processes.
  • Through the practice of collective critical enquiry, work towards actionable knowledge that can be disseminated.


You will have the knowledge and confidence to:

  • Identify the key principles and practices of co-production for practice enquiry
  • Understand the core theoretical underpinnings of the approach
  • Lead the facilitation of the approach to collaboratively identify and explore areas for the investigation of quality improvement.
  • Facilitate and foster co-ownership of, and collaboration on, quality improvement challenges
  • Identify areas of actionable knowledge to inform the implementation of improvement strategies in your own settings.

The module blends pre-module, live & asynchronous content delivery to ensure participants can link prior learning & practice to new perspectives and then apply new learning in their workplace context. There will be opportunities to:

  • Extend networking and exchange of experiences & practices across participants.
  • Share outcomes of their enquiry
  • Evaluate learning on conducting own Practice Enquiry Circles.


This is a blended module which will be delivered by Dr Christina Donovan and Dr Colin Forrest. It consists of the following elements (a more detailed breakdown of time scales and commitments available below):

  • Pre-module activity, including pre-recorded content and a short course guide for facilitating Practice Enquiry Circles 
  • 2 live taught sessions via Zoom (3 hours each) to explore key elements of the approach in a collaborative forum.
  • Pre and post session tasks to trial the approach in settings, and record reflections on the process
  • Mentoring support for circle activity.
  • 1 live summative session (2 hours) to share findings and evaluate the process of facilitating Circles.

This module requires a significant commitment from participants and organisations but can lead to efficiency in the long-term through a commitment to meaningful critical dialogue with a broad range of stakeholders. Please make sure you can commit to all offline and live elements before you book.

Entry Requirements

You will have experience of carrying out at least some of these activities in your Advanced Practitioner-type role:

  • 1:1 coaching of individuals
  • Facilitation of development/CPD sessions with groups or teams
  • Involvement in self-assessment and planning for quality improvement
  • Reflecting on teaching and learning practice with teachers, managers and leaders and identifying actions
  • Collaboration with managers to develop teaching & learning in the curriculum context
  • Some of your working week will be spent supporting or developing teachers. This may involve a small number of hours or a large fraction of your timetable, depending on your work context.

Contact us

If this course is not currently available at a suitable date/location, please register your interest and we will let you know about new events as they are announced.

If you have any questions, please contact:

T: 0800 0 831 830
E: enquiries@etfoundation.co.uk