Brief Action Planning

Behavioural Change

Brief Action Planning is a highly structured, stepped-care, self-management support technique grounded in the principles and practice of Motivational Interviewing and behavior change theory and research (Gutnick et al 2014)

Brief Action Planning is a structured way of interacting with individuals interested in making a concrete action plan for some aspect of their health. It is based on the principles and practice of Motivational Interviewing and is supported by evidence from behavioural science and self-management support.  The core skills of Brief Action Planning can be learned by anyone interested in supporting others to make change.

The Brief Action Planning Guide describes the process in detail and the Brief Action Planning Flow Chart provides an overview.  The Checking on My Plan worksheet provides a take-home guide for doing a check-in or follow-up on a Brief Action Plan. For versions in other languages see the Resources section (below).

The following video shows Dr. Lucy Nee demonstrating Brief Action Planning with patients with musculoskeletal issues. These interactions occur towards the end of the visit.

Learning Brief Action Planning

Brief Action Planning is taught in small workshops or via a web-based module.  Practice and feedback sessions provide the learner an opportunity to become comfortable with the Brief Action Planning skills.

Interested individuals have the option of becoming certified in Brief Action Planning. Certification involves recording an interaction with a Standardized Patient that is evaluated using a standardized rating form.

Contact us to find out how to get started.

Schedule for Brief Action Planning Practice Call and Certification Calls

Practice your Brief Action Planning skills to gain confidence by calling in to our drop-in calls.  Most people attend 2 practice sessions before certification in BAP.

Ready to practice? Schedule Here

Ready for certification? Schedule Here

Contact us for information about the certification fee

Interested in training your staff as BAP Trainers? Find more information here


Language BAP Flow Chart BAP Guide
English BAP Flow Chart  BAP Guide
French BAP Flow Chart BAP Guide
Punjabi BAP Flow Chart BAP Guide
Chinese-Simplified Characters BAP Flow Chart BAP Guide
Chinese- Traditional Characters BAP Flow Chart BAP Guide
Spanish BAP Flow Chart BAP Guide
Russian BAP Flow Chart BAP Guide
German BAP Flow Chart BAP Guide

Worksheets for Making Brief Action Plans

Thanks to collaborators and practitioners who have assisted with the following worksheets for people to use to record their Brief Action Plans.

Using BAP in groups:

The following documents are helpful when using BAP in groups but can be used in any BAP interaction.

New “Using BAP In Groups” tips and things to consider document Feb 2016:

Are you working with a group that could benefit from goal setting? It might be an education group that could move information to action. It could be a group medical visit, a peer support group or any other kind. This worksheet will help you to determine if BAP is an appropriate tool and offer guidance on how to use it.

The tool is now in a testing mode, and we would appreciate any feedback that you might have on the tool (its form, possible usage).

Please download it and use it: Using BAP in Groups 2016-03-23

New “Checking in on my Plan” Worksheet February 2016:

Based on feedback from our BAP Community of Practice, CCMI has developed a worksheet to assist in guiding a follow-up or check-in, particularly if they will not be coming back to check in with the person who helped them make the plan. Once a person has made a plan, they can take this worksheet home and use it to do a check-in on their own or with someone else.

The tool is now in a testing mode, and we would appreciate any feedback that you might have on the tool (its form, possible usage).

Here is the most recent version of the tool.  Please download it and use it in your daily practice: Checking on My Plan Worksheet 2016-03-23

*Note: we are in the process of reviewing this document with the help of collaborators and will produce an new version in March 2016.  If you have feedback, please send it to

“Things I want to Try worksheet”:

Things I want to try Worksheet 2014-03-31

Action Planning Tool November 2014:

CCMI has collaborated with Patient Voices Network Volunteers ( to create a tool to help patients and clinicians work at making an action plan for behaviour change using the concepts from Brief Action Planning (BAP):

The tool is now in a testing mode.  We would appreciate any feedback that you might have  on the tool (its form, possible usage).

Here is the most recent version of the tool.  Please download it and use it in your daily practice:

Goal Setting  Worksheet.  Available in: English | Chinese (Traditional)

Goal Setting With Clouds Worksheet.  Available in: English | Chinese | Punjabi

If you have questions about the tools or want to give us feedback please write to

Overview of BAP and the BC story:

Watch a 50 minute webinar for members of the Patient Voices Network on BAP in BC

Link: Brief Action Planning in BC

BAP Poster: Click to view BAP Poster

BAP Videos:

Check out our videos page which highlights the use of BAP in various settings.

BAP Video Page



Read about BAP in the Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management.

Download: Gutnick et. al PDF

BAP White Paper

The White Paper provides additional description and background about BAP: BAP White Paper

PLEASE NOTE: The White Paper was updated on 2014-09-30

Testing the feasibility of training peers with a spinal cord injury to learn and implement brief action planning to promote physical activity to people with spinal cord injury. Click here for abstract and download.

(J Spinal Cord Med. 2015 Jul;38(4):515-25. doi: 10.1179/2045772314Y.0000000239. Epub 2014 Nov 27.)

Gainforth HL, Latimer-Cheung AE, Davis C, Casemore S, Martin Ginis KA.


BAP Abstract Published in the American Journal of Kidney Disease

BAP: A Self-Management Support Technique for Promoting Collaborative Goal Setting for Patients on Home Dialysis   Click Here for Abstract and Download


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