SVHNS Improvement Science Program (2020-2021)

Applications are open for the St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney Improvement Science Program (2020 – 2021)

This program has been designed for senior clinicians and aspiring senior clinicians in both acute and sub-acute settings, to work across different disciplines in teams to drive improvement.

The Improvement Science Program formerly known as Clinical Practice Improvement (CPI) runs over a cycle of approximately twelve months and is supported by an initial 2 day face-to-face Improvement Science training workshop as well as further review sessions. Participation in all sessions is required to complete the course.

The aim of this program is to facilitate the development of skills and knowledge critical in Improvement Science which will be applied in a clinical project. In addition to utilising informative and interactive sessions, this contemporary program includes workshops which will encourage delegate participation. Improvement Science experts such as a Program Coordinator and an allocated Quality Advisor will be available to support participants during this course. A Peer Advisor can also be made available depending on the project topic of each participant.


On completion of this program it is anticipated that participants will:

  • Have enhanced personal and professional leadership skills (teamwork)
  • Have knowledge of improvement science theory
  • Be able to identify causes of process failures within their clinical teams
  • Be equipped in applying improvement methodology to affect change; implement evidence based practice and address problems arising out of root cause analyses
  • Be able to design effective solutions using plan, do, study, act (PDSA) tests of change
  • Have an awareness of micro system re-engineering, human factors and reliable design principles
  • Be able to identify methods for spreading and sustaining change and improvement
  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge in measuring for quality using statistical process control charts.

Participants are expected to undertake a local improvement science project which is related to a clinical service where challenges have been identified. It is the intent that these projects should be of a publishable standard. It will be the responsibility of the participant to ensure that their project meets any and all ethical review requirements.

Target Audience:

Senior clinicians and aspiring clinicians who are responsible for improving patient care.

Managers are responsible for approving staff within their Stream/Service/Facility to undertake this course and are responsible for advising on team composition.


What participants can expect from the Patient Safety & Quality Unit

  • Contact from a project mentor to assess progress and offer advice regarding CPI project team and issues related to the CPI project
  • Materials to support them in their project.

What is expected from participants?

It is expected that participants will:

  • Have a central leadership role in driving their local Improvement Science project
  • Initiate and maintain contact with their Project Sponsor/s for the duration of the Program
  • Maintain contact with their allocated Quality Advisor and the Improvement Science Coordinator
  • Actively participate in the program activities and use opportunities to learn from daily challenges to maximise “patient centred” outcomes
  • Complete mandatory components of the course:
    • Have an idea for a project prior to submitting their application
    • Attend a 2 day face-to-face training course on 13th and 14th February, 2020
    • Submit a final project presentation and poster display in February 2021
    • Completion of a brief de-identified patient safety questionnaire before and after the course.

Workshop and Program Content:

The first 2 day face-to-face workshop will be held on the 13th and 14th of February, 2020. This workshop will be delivered by a staff member from the Quality Improvement Academy of the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) as well as the Improvement Science Program Coordinator of St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney (SVHNS). Methodology experts from SVHNS who have worked extensively in the areas of Improvement Science and Quality Improvement in a clinical context will also be present to assist each group during the workshop.

An additional 4 half-day session throughout the year will also be held for participants to provide progress reports of their projects to the Program Coordinator and expert panels. Individualised feedback after these sessions will be provided to each group to assist them with their progress in their work. 

Important dates:

Workshop Dates:

13th & 14th February 2020

Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm

Venue: St Vincent's Clinic Level 4 Function Room

Application Closing Date:

5th February 2020 by COB

Successful applicants will be notified by 7th February 2020

Program Inquiries:

Levina Saad (SVHNS Improvement Science Coordinator)

E:       T: 8382 3567 (Ext 23567)       M: 0404460542       

Alternatively, the Quality Coordinator/Manager allocated to your Clinical Stream

How to Apply?

Please click here, to download the application form, and submit an electronic copy of your application to before the closing date.


For a PDF version of the course information, please click here.

Additional Resources

Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC)

Quality Improvement Tools:

Affinity Diagrams:

Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

Science of Improvement:

How to Improve: