Photo of notebooks stacked up, with a piece of paper saying 'IMPORTANT' pertruding

Roffey Park’s PULSE Learning Framework – what it is and why it is important

Janice McBrown 16th December 2019

Roffey Park’s PULSE learning framework places our clients and participants at the centre of their learning journey.  PULSE is embedded in our organisational practice which means that from first contact, through programme design and delivery – we will work with you to support your learning journey in a meaningful way.

Here we ask our Head of Faculty, Dr Arlene Egan, what the PULSE approach is and what it means for you.

Why have we developed PULSE?

Roffey Park has been at the forefront of dialogic and group learning approaches for the last 74 years, but we recognised that we needed to clarify our approach and be more transparent about the methods we use.  So, we created the PULSE Learning framework.

What underpins PULSE?

PULSE is grounded in long-established adult learning theory.  Adult learners bring with them a set of experiences, biases, assumptions, fears and challenges.  And they are very aware of some of these things, particularly their fears and challenges, but they may be less aware of their biases and assumptions.  PULSE is an approach that treats adult learners holistically and provides a framework for them to think about why they might be thinking, feeling or behaving in certain ways.

Photo of the 'PULSE' learning framework

What does PULSE Stand for?

PULSE stands for Plot, Unlock, Lever, Signify and Embed.

Plot – helps learners to understand where they’d like to go with their learning journey.  And like all journeys, there will be changes along the way. And that’s fine because the Plot stage creates the space for learners to think about themselves, what they want to achieve and what this means not just for themselves, but for their teams and for their organisations.

Unlock – provides the insights, ideas and opportunities that enable our learners to open their minds to new ways of thinking.  Sometimes it will be to reaffirm what they already know but other times it will challenge them.  Unlock creates a sense of wonderment, an exploration of what’s out there and what’s possible during their learning journey.

Lever – recognises the value of learning from others either through group interaction or more formal approaches such as peer coaching or action learning sets.  We don’t just create the space and opportunities for this but proactively facilitate it.

Signify – is the time for reflection.  We will ask our learners throughout the programme, what does it mean for you, your team and your organisation? It’s about creating the time, space and support to think about the significance of what’s happening to them.

Embed – is all about impact and the practical application of learning – how am I going to use this, what am I going to do next?

For us, Signify and Embed are the most important stages of any learning journey.  PULSE represents the way we learn through our head, heart and hands.  Learning is not static, it ebbs and flows as we develop the knowledge, skills and awareness to fulfil our potential.

What does mean for me and my programme experience?

It’s up to you.  We aren’t going to force you to plot your journey on a flipchart or quiz your fellow participants for their knowledge.  It’s a process that underpins our programmes that is designed to map a learning journey in a simple, but powerful way.  We also know that your learning isn’t static and doesn’t fit into a neat model.  Your learning evolves and you’ll experience different elements of PULSE in different ways at different times.  It’s your journey and unique to you.

Regardless of this, when you leave our programme, you’ll have a framework that you can use for anything – for solving problems, developing innovation or managing your team’s performance.

Why do we need a learning framework?

Any training or development needs to have an outcome.  At Roffey Park we don’t end our programmes with exams or tests with scores or grades, but we still need to have outcomes.

As a learner you need to know what you’ve achieved on your programme – whether you’ve achieved your learning journey or whether you have more to come.  And your organisation needs to understand what you’ve learnt and what that means for your team and organisation when you return to work.

PULSE is embedded across our organisation, it enables us to continue to be passionate about learning and curious about the possibilities.  Our facilitators create the right environment conducive to learning and will guide you through your PULSE learning journey.  Our client relationship team will work with you to understand your learning outcomes and plot, signify and embed what you need to achieve.  Our Learning Resource centre provides resources to help learners unlock, leverage and signify.   Roffey Park Institute has a range of training programmes in leadership, management, organisational development and HR development.  To find out more visit our training course pages.