Quality and Safety

Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement

Master the concepts, methods and tools you need to lead successful quality improvement projects

About the course

All healthcare professionals want to do their best for patients, but variations in the way they deliver care and the outcomes they achieve show just how difficult it is.  This is why quality improvement is such a fundamental skill – one that all healthcare leaders and managers should acquire early in their training as an integral part of their future work.

Highly practical, contemporary and relevant, IHLM’s Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement course will provide you with complete mastery of the theory and practice of healthcare quality improvement.

During the course you’ll learn how to select and scope ideas for improvement projects, how to define and collect data and create a quality dashboard.  You’ll use data to understand the causes of quality problems, develop change ideas, run small tests of change and scale-up the successful ones.  By the end of the course you’ll be confidently leading your own improvement projects and having a measurable impact on the quality of patient care in your unit or facility.

Delivered via IHLM’s online learning platform and through live interactive Zoom webinars, you will become part of a global healthcare improvement community who all believe they should do two jobs every day: deliver great care and constantly improve it.

What you’ll learn

On completion of this course you’ll be able to:

  • understand all the models, concepts and theories that comprise the emerging science of quality improvement
  • develop and lead quality improvement projects in your unit or facility
  • confidently collect and interpret data to identify variations in quality, understand its causes and develop change ideas
  • plan and run tests of change and then scale-up and spread successful improvements throughout your organisation

How you’ll learn

This course is broken down into eight manageable weekly modules:

  • work at your own speed through a carefully curated collection of self-paced online learning materials that include video lectures, podcasts, interviews and real-world case studies
  • evidence-based research from peer-reviewed publications will help you dig more deeply into topics that really interest you
  • you are not alone – you will interact with other course members, collaborate on learning activities and get direct feedback and coaching from the course leader during weekly Zoom webinars
  • earn professional certification by completing weekly learning activities and mini-projects

This course should take approximately 4 – 6 hours per week.  You can expect to devote about 1 – 2 hours per week to self-paced learning, 1 – 2 hours per week preparing for and participating in the webinar and 1 – 2 hours per week applying your knowledge through learning activities and mini-projects.  Every webinar is recorded so you can rewatch it at any time.

Who should take this course?

We believe that quality improvement skills are just as important for healthcare professionals as an understanding of anatomy and physiology.  So this course truly is for everyone – whether they work in a clinical or administrative role – who wants a solid foundation in quality improvement concepts, methods and tools that can be used every day.  It is also an ideal course for established quality improvement specialists who want to update and expand their knowledge and is very suitable for staff who are aspiring to, or preparing for, a future quality specialist role.

About the certificates

Upon successful completion of the course you’ll receive an:

  • IHLM Certificate of CPD Completion – This may be useful for course members who belong to professional bodies that have Continuing Professional Development requirements.  The course has an estimated 48 hours of guided learning.
  • IHLM Professional Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement – This is evidence of the quality improvement skills you’ve developed during the course and of your ability to lead quality improvement projects of your own.  The award of a professional certificate requires completion of learning activities and mini-projects during each module.

How to register

Ready to start?  Just click the ‘Register now’ button at the top of this page or use the ‘Ask us a question’ button if you’d like to talk to one of our course facilitators.  The fee for this course is £795 per person.  If you’d like to pay in instalments you can arrange this by contacting us at: registration@ihlm.org.

We provide discounts to organisations registering 3 or more staff in the course and can also provide a customised in-house version tailored to your organisation’s specific needs.

All registrations are subject to our terms and conditions which are available here. By registering for an IHLM course you are accepting these terms and conditions and agreeing to be bound by them.



Module 1: The Science of Quality Improvement

Discover how to improve quality in a planned and scientific way:

  • reflect on what quality means in a modern healthcare system
  • define the five fundamental principles of improvement
  • apply these principles using the Model for Improvement
  • understand why change must be supported by data
  • outline the skills and knowledge you need to become an effective quality leader

Module 2: Beginning a Quality Improvement Project

Practice selecting and scoping potential improvement projects:

  • choose appropriate themes to give focus to your improvement activities
  • focus your activities by creating an aim statement
  • engage your project’s stakeholders and select the right team members
  • design a project charter containing detailed information about your project

Module 3: Collecting and Measuring Data

Learn how to define and collect the right data to measure performance:

  • identify the three types of quality measures
  • create a family of quality metrics for your improvement project
  • develop a data collection plan
  • design a performance measurement dashboard for your unit or facility

Module 4: Displaying and Analysing Data

Communicate and analyse your quality data using appropriate visual displays:

  • describe and compare the five most useful types of data display
  • understand how to construct run charts and control charts
  • recognise common and special cause variation and describe how they affect a healthcare system
  • explain when and how to use other types of data display such as Pareto charts and scatterplots

Module 5: Developing Change Ideas

Develop fundamental changes that result in genuine improvement:

  • understand the difference between reactive and fundamental change
  • recognise why it is necessary to build a working theory of causation before you can develop change ideas
  • build driver diagrams to develop and explain a working theory
  • practice five methods for developing fundamental changes

Module 6: Planning and Running Tests of Change

Design experiments to test the impact of your change ideas:

  • understand how and why we use Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles
  • identify the three basic principles that help increase our certainty that a change is an improvement
  • review the main test designs that can be used within a PDSA cycle
  • select the best overall strategy for testing a change and determine the appropriate scale for the test

Module 7: Implementing a Change

Deliver the deeper and more fundamental changes needed to make an improvement permanent:

  • recognise why implementation is challenging and why it must be preceded by a successful test of change
  • identify the benefits of managing implementation as a series of PDSA cycles
  • review the main practices used to support the implementation of change
  • understand the human and social side of implementing change and improvement

Module 8: Spreading Change and Improvement

Discover how improvements that have been successful in one place can be spread throughout an organisation:

  • understand why, to disseminate change, there must be a properly managed spread process
  • review the Framework for Spread and know how it enables change ideas to be transmitted
  • identify the four components of a good spread plan
  • understand the ‘Change Kaleidoscope’ and how it enables you to make change happen


Course Leader

Benedict Stanberry

Course Factfile

  • Next session: 14 June 2023
  • Duration: 8 weeks
  • Commitment: 4-6 hours a week
  • Qualification: Certificate
  • Cost: £795
  • Location: Online

Find out more about Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement


More courses

All courses


  • What is a mini MBA and who is it for?

    October 18, 2023

    Pretty much everyone working in business or management has heard of the MBA degree. However, few healthcare leaders have the time, money or need for such a lengthy and expensive programme.

  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

    September 8, 2022

    IHLM is deeply saddened by the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty was patron of more than 600 charities, many of them in the field of health and medical care.