A small group, or action learning ‘set’ is formed. The set includes 6 to 8 people, preferably with a diverse range of backgrounds, learning styles, skills and experience to provide fresh eyes on a problem or opportunity. A suitably qualified action learning facilitator may be appointed to guide the set. Set members ask ‘good’ questions to assist each other to explore the problem, challenge current thinking and plan actions to address the problem or realise the opportunity. The set meets periodically to report back on the results of the actions and share what they have learnt.

The cost to establish a program varies. A group of individuals or organisation may set up a self-directed action learning set at no cost, except for the time invested in participating.

An action learning facilitator may be engaged to assist with establishing a program, acting as a set advisor and coordinating the learning across an organisation or region. Facilitators generally charge typical consulting fees at an hourly rate for this work.

Larger programs relating to economic development or aligned to nationally recognised qualifications require greater planning and consultation and are usually costed as a full consulting project.

There may be costs inherent in the recommendations emerging from action learning. Other additional costs could include back-fill for participating employees and travel costs for remote programs.

Government subsidies have been provided for action learning programs in the past. You may be eligible for funding subsidies under federal or state funding, particularly where nationally recognised qualifications or a direct economic or regional development outcome can be demonstrated. We recommend visiting http://www.business.gov.au/grants-and-assistance/ to search for funding support. Please email [email protected] if you require specific information about the program to assist with your funding submission.

Experience has shown that it is best if the set members have a direct relationship to the problem or opportunity under focus. This ensures that time spent on the project furthers their personal objectives and provides a mutual benefit for each set member. A facilitator can assist with the formation of the set however all set members must be voluntary and demonstrate sincere enthusiasm to be involved.

It is entirely up to the set to decide how often and how long they will meet. However, it is very important that, once this has been decided, that all set members attend and give their full attention to each set meeting.

Experience suggests that a monthly or six-weekly meeting is the minimum frequency to ensure that the set remains connected. More frequent meetings are beneficial however there needs to be sufficient time between sessions for set members to undertake and observe the results of their actions, before reporting back to the group.

Set meetings should be long enough set members to have at least 20 minutes each to speak and receive questions from the group. A facilitator can assist in keeping set members to time.

All training agreements are with employers, agreements are not entered into with individual participants. Therefore, all costs are expected to be met by the employer. Each project will be invoiced according to the training agreement however there is usually an upfront payment of between 30-50% of the total cost of delivery, this amount is commensurate with the co-contribution applicable for funded programs.