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Action Learning opportunities explained

We’re extending the deadline for applications to our action learning set, for independent producers and self-producing artists, in order to ensure that we reach as wide a group of applicants as possible.

If you’re unsure if this is the right opportunity for you, we’ve done a Q & A with our facilitator Laura Drane who’ll explain a little more about it....

What is an action learning set?

Action learning involves a group of individuals getting together in a structured and reflective way (hosted by a facilitator) to explore their own solutions to their ideas, questions or issues.

It’s a bit like coaching, but in a group or set, and is called action learning as participants invariably have actions to be tried out or taken having met.

Action learning gives people the chance to step outside the pressures of their professional role and to view things from a different perspective. Working with a small group of others, you get the opportunity to raise, discuss and learn about any issue that is significant for you.

Through listening (really listening), questioning and sharing feedback, the group will challenge, support and assist the individual to identify their own solutions to take away and try out.

To help enable this, the group is guided by a skilled facilitator who has been trained in the action learning process.

So if you’ve got ideas, problems, issues or an interest in learning and reflection but no time to make it a priority, then action learning could be for you.

Action learning sets have been described as “user-led think tanks”, “a space for peer support and individual reflection”, and “…a kind of rehab for creatives”.

If you want to know more, there’s a short video here (made by the excellent School of Social Entrepreneurs, so when it says “business” but just think “freelance or professional life”) and some further info on action learning here.

Who is this opportunity for?

The group will be chosen after an open call application process. We are looking for a wide range of people and will preference producers and self producing artists.

Whatever level you are - if you are just starting out, an emerging or more established artist - then we would be interested in hearing from you.

We are most interested in getting the right mix of people in the set, which usually has 6 - 9 people in it.

When will this happen, and where?

The first session will be held at a time/date to be agreed on the week beginning 30 March.

The sessions last for around three hours and will be held at WMC. This set will be an initial commitment for six sessions one every month, after which the group could disband or continue.

There will be six meetings in 2020 – three with a facilitator, after which it is expected that the group will have grasped the principles enough to self-facilitate thereafter, even continuing beyond the six sessions if the group chooses.

What does it cost to join and what’s expected of me?

It’s free of charge. WMC is hosting by providing the facilitator, tea/coffee and the space.

Set members are expected to attend each meeting and commit to trust, participation and confidentiality.

In order to build on shared learning and maintain trust, all members should be present for each Action Learning meeting.

Poor set attendance impacts on the energy in the set because members do not participate in each other’s presentations and are not there to feedback on actions.

Especially when projects come to a head, or deadlines approach, it can be difficult to stick to a fixed date in the diary.

However, the pay-off of taking the time to pause, reflect and plan with your set more than makes up for it.

Further information

Email Glesni Price-Jones – Artist Development Associate at with any questions, or to arrange a chat.

Apply here

Please download and complete the application the form and email it back to us.


  • Deadline extended until 11 March 2020, midday
  • Decisions communicated to those selected w/c 16 March
  • First meeting – week beginning 30 March
  • Monthly thereafter for five more sessions in 2020