Improvement Fundamentals in a Day

Kick start your team’s improvement project

Improvement Fundamentals in a Day is a toolkit designed to provide all the resources you need to run your own local quality improvement (QI) workshop, without requiring any improvement expertise yourself. The aim is to tackle challenges and drive improvements in services, with potential gains in staff time and efficiency.

Based on NHS England’s Improvement Fundamentals massive open online course (MOOC), it provides step-by-step guidance and facilitator videos on each of the techniques, as well as exercises and supporting templates.

All you need is good general facilitation skills (the toolkit provides the improvement expertise), and you can run a workshop that will teach a number of key improvement skills. By the end of the workshop you will have produced all the documents you need to kick-start your improvement project, from defining your aims to completing measurement and spread plans.

Improvement Fundamentals in a Day is CPD-accredited and all workshop participants can gain CPD points from taking part.

How does it work?

Using our toolkit you will be able to run your own QI workshop. Ideally the workshop will be based around a challenge or project that you wish to address locally. You will assemble your team and the materials indicated in the toolkit instructions.

Each session in the workshop is based around a single improvement theory or technique, with a video from a virtual QI tutor. You play the video and pause it when instructed to carry out the exercise as per the guidance. You will also be handing out the templates or materials and facilitating any discussion in the room to see how the methods apply to your own project.

Each session covers some background or theory on the tool, a chance to experiment with the technique, time to work on a practice project and finally develop your own project.

The facilitator guide included in the toolkit will talk you through:

  • What materials to print out or assemble in advance;
  • How to guide your participants through each session; when to play the video; when to pause and do an exercise; rules or instructions for each exercise and all the templates and instructions you need.

Workshop structure

The workshop is designed to run in a single day spanning five hours, but can be amended to run over two days or split into single sessions as required.

Session 1 – Introduction
Explains the purpose and format of the day. 
Session 2 – Energiser
Starts the learning with a buzz. Working through this problem has many parallels with the way people go about improvement. 
Session 3 – Introduction to Quality Improvement
What QI is, why it is important and an introduction to the Model for Improvement.  
Session 4 – Exploring the problem – Writing Aims
Guidance and exercises to enable participants to develop an aim for the local project or problem.
Session 5 – Measurement for Improvement
Demonstrates the different types of measures which are best for measuring improvement projects, enabling participants to develop their own measurement plan.
Session 6 – Exploring the problem – Fishbone Diagrams
Using fishbone diagrams to effectively explore the problem and giving the participants an opportunity to try it out themselves. 
Session 7 – Change Ideas
Encourage brainstorming with a fun way to generate new ideas. 
Session 8 – PDSA with the Marshmallow Exercise
Provides some light relief and energising after lunch while encouraging team working and creativity with the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) method.  
Session 9 – PDSA Cycles
Draws parallels between the PDSA cycle from the marshmallow exercise and the existing challenge / aim. Inviting the participants to complete a PDSA cycle template and plan a PDSA cycle linked to the local project or problem. 
Session 10 – Spread
A discussion that links back to the beginning and spread considerations as you move through the whole process. Helping participants plan for how they will spread the knowledge about what they are doing – how to connect and identify who might be interested. 
Session 11 – Networking and close
A short round-up of the day. 

What is in the toolkit?

The toolkit contains:

  1. PowerPoint presentation to use on the day containing links to all videos
  2. Links to all instructor and expert videos to use
  3. All worksheets and templates required on the day for the exercises
  4. Helpful handout for participants to remind them of the key points of techniques learnt
  5. Exercise instructions for the local facilitator
  6. Facilitator guide and session plans to guide the local facilitator
  7. Certification application sheet.

How do I get the toolkit?

Please email to receive a digital copy of the full toolkit with all attachments by email.