November 10, 2016

Small group learning sessions (SGLS) organized by the Practice Support Program (PSP) give doctors the opportunity to discuss, discover, and share learnings in a practical environment. Topics are informed by doctors and divisions at a community level to ensure learnings are locally relevant. Content is evidence-based, meets Mainpro+ certification requirements, and is developed and adapted by the provincial office in partnership with doctors, educational organizations, and subject matter experts.

As part of our work to support physicians in the move toward the patient medical home/primary care home model and a system of integrated care, we have restructured our small group learning sessions with an increased focus on quality improvement. Sessions will now be themed and offered in series, with topics identified by doctors and divisions at a community level, then selected by the GPSC. Groups may vary in size (10 - 12 participants maximum), and the sessions may vary in frequency or focus, but the common thread is a learning model that enables doctors to problem solve and identify new solutions while they learn.

As they have in the past, our new series of SGLS will allow doctors to:

  • Learn from (and with) their peers.
  • Plan for practice changes based on content.
  • Discuss how to incorporate changes into their practice.
  • Test group learning content in a practice environment.
  • Be supported by coordinators and peer mentors through post-session in-practice visits, to ensure they are able to implement and sustain practice improvements.

Quality improvement activities, payment, and accreditation

We have made some changes to our payment model that will affect how physicians are paid and accredited for participation in SGLS. Physicians will now receive payment for their participation in SGLS once they have submitted an action plan that connects their learnings to a quality improvement activity. RSTs and peer mentors will be able to assist physicians in identifying a quality improvement/testing activity that will benefit their practice, and help them to create and submit a corresponding action plan.

Physicians will also be asked to submit a self-reflective questionnaire two months after participating in a session. An accreditation certificate for completion of the SGLS will be issued once the completed questionnaire has been received.

Upcoming SGLS series

We will release two series of SGLS in the coming months, which align with areas of priority identified in PSP’s new mandate of helping doctors move toward a system of integrated care.

The first series will focus on the ways in which quality improvement can make life easier in medical practices. The sessions in this series have been developed in partnership with the BC Patient and Safety Quality Council, and are awaiting certification through the College of Family Physicians. We anticipate the materials will be available to RSTs for delivery beginning December 1st, 2016.

The second series will focus on team-based care, and supporting family doctors to work with an expanded inter-professional team. Learnings from these sessions will enable all providers in a practice, including MOAs, to optimize the scope of their work. We plan to make these sessions available beginning in January 2017, with additional learning opportunities offered on a rolling basis.


Predetermined funding will be available to each division through the PSP RST to administer the SGLS. This funding can be used for space rental, catering, sessional payments for doctors who lead SGLS, and payment to peer mentors who support delivery of SGLS during or after sessions.

PSP is to excited support doctors with these newly structured group learning activities. To learn more, contact your local RST or division.