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A support worker and a person cutting herbs in a garden.

Person Centred Practices and Continuous Improvement

Diagram of three person centred practices: Person Centred Planning, Active Support, and Positive Behaviour Support.
How Active Support works with other person centred practices
  • Using person centred practices improves quality of life

  • Active Support, Person Centred Planning and Positive Behaviour Support are person centred practices

  • Being person centred means putting the individual at the centre of everything you do

This video explains the connection between Active Support, Person Centred Planning and Positive Behaviour Support

Active Support is a way of working all the time to support a person to engage in meaningful activities and social interactions.


Person Centred Planning identifies

  • a person’s interests, wants and needs

  • the kind of life they want to live

  • specific goals they want to achieve


Your knowledge about a person can help to understand their interests, wants and needs. It can inform person centred plans.

You can use Active Support to help a person meet their goals.


Positive Behaviour Support is used to understand behaviours of concern and plan support for a person.

  • Good communication and being engaged are part of many behaviour support plans

  • Providing Active Support is often part of behaviour support plans

  • Staff following the plan and using Active Support can reduce behaviours of concern

Improving Active Support Over Time

  • Developing skills in Active Support takes time

  • There are always ways to improve

  • You will see changes in the people you support as your skills get better


In this video, Anita discusses how she started to use Active Support to support Laura. She describes how Laura participated in more activities over time.

Reflecting on your practice is a way to improve your skills. This means thinking about the support you have provided to a person and identifying ways to improve. You can do this on your own, with another staff member, in a team meeting or in supervision.


Ask yourself:

  • What happened during the activity or interaction?

  • What support did I provide?

  • What was it like for the person I supported?

  • What was it like for me?

  • What worked well?

  • What could I improve?

  • What could I do differently next time?


In this video, staff who work in services talk about what helped them to improve their skills.



  1. What did the staff identify as helping them improve?

  2. What aspects of Active Support will you work on?

  3. What will you do to improve your skills in Active Support?

Active Support, Person Centred Planning and Positive Behaviour Support can be used together to improve quality of life. These three person centred practices complement each other and are useful tools for staff. Active Support puts a person’s goals into action and reduces behaviours of concern. 

Active Support is a skill and becoming competent takes practice. Some ways to keep improving are through experience, learning from others, and self reflection. 

Further reading about Active Support is available in the Resources section as well as links to other online training resources.


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