Brief Action Planning

Action planning and goal setting for people who are ready to make a change.

Brief Action Planning (BAP) is a self-management support technique that involves using a structured step-by-step process to help individuals set goals and make concrete action plans. Whether you are a physician helping a patient who is interested in managing his diabetes or a peer support worker helping a new mother to manage stress, the core skills of BAP can be learned by anyone who is interested in helping people make behavioural changes to impact their health or well-being. BAP training is grounded in the principles and practice of Motivational Interviewing and behaviour change theory and research, emphasizing compassion, acceptance, partnership and evocation to support patients, clients, and peers to make the changes that are most important to them. Trainer training is available for organizations that want to build their internal capacity and sustainability for ongoing BAP skills development.

A subset of BAP, Brief Interventions, are evidence-based practices designed to motivate individuals at risk of substance abuse and related health problems to change their behaviour by helping them understand how their substance use puts them at risk and to reduce or give up their substance use. The techniques are not specific to substance abuse however, and can be applied to structure brief conversations about health care in general. Brief Interventions can take place in various settings such as primary healthcare settings, and can be implemented by a variety of trained behavioural and primary healthcare providers. Brief Interventions consist of feedback about personal risk, explicit advice to change, emphasis on patient’s responsibility for change, and provide a variety of ways to affect change. Brief Intervention techniques include an empathetic style and support for the patient’s perception of self-efficacy or optimism that they can change. (Colorado Clinical Guideline Collaborative).

Program Summary

Skills TrainingFace-to-Face WorkshopNone6-24 people per groupCustomizable: 4 hrs - 1 day of training (depending on options chosen), followed by 2-3 Practice and Feedback sessions
Skills TrainingWebinar SeriesNone6-24 people per group4 x 90 minute webinars over 4 weeks (6 hours total), followed by 2-3 Practice and Feedback sessions
Skills TrainingOnline CourseNoneUnlimitedSelf-paced: typically 2-4 hours followed by 2-3 hours Practice and Feedback sessions. Register here
Practice & FeedbackPhone CallIncluded in Skills TrainingMax 5 per trainer1 hour
CertificationPhone CallSkills Training and Practice & FeedbackIndividual20 minutes
Trainer CourseFace-to-Face WorkshopCertification6-24 people per group2.5 days

Program Detail

Skills Training

Trainees learn core Brief Action Planning (BAP) principles and techniques.

  • All types may be combined with BAP Certification to demonstrate competence in Brief Action Planning skills.
  • Face-to-Face Workshops may be combined with Motivational Interviewing training.
  • To register for the online course with practice and feedback click here

Practice & Feedback

Practice & Feedback calls are intended to increase trainee’s confidence and achieve proficiency in BAP skills. These one hour sessions provide opportunities for participants to practice BAP skills in groups of up to 5 with a BAP trainer. The trainer role plays the part of a patient or client appropriate to the group participating in the calls. Past experience has shown that most BAP trainees become skilled with 2-3 practice sessions. These calls are the ideal preparation for BAP Certification.


BAP Certification demonstrates a trainee’s competence in BAP skills through an exam in the format of a structured and recorded interaction with a CCMI Standardized Patient. The exam is scored by a coder using a standardized rating scale. The rating scale emphasizes conversational tone, flow of the interaction and adherence to the Spirit of Motivational Interviewing in addition to demonstration of BAP skills.

Trainer Course

The Trainer Course helps proficient BAP practitioners gain the skills and confidence to teach BAP to others. This level of training is for organizations who want an “in-house” model for ongoing BAP skills development. Having BAP trainers within the organization encourages ongoing skills refinement as well as capacity to train new hires. Trainer Course participants must have prior BAP knowledge, including Certification, then are taught by CCMI Master Trainers and introduced to transformative learning approaches designed to help learners apply new skills in practice.

Schedule & Fees

See below for BAP Practice & Feedback and Certification schedules.  For details about other program schedules and fees please contact us.

These calls are drop-in calls for anyone learning Brief Action Planning. Dial in and practice with a BAP trainer! They are a great way to develop BAP skills. If you have any issues connecting, or if a facilitator is not on the call during the designated times please call us.

See also the Additional Resources section (bottom of this page), particularly the BAP Guide, Flow Chart, Videos and Skills Checklist.


February Practice and Feedback

Call in on: 1-866-512-0904, 5205632#
Monday, February 5th from 12:00-1:00pm PST
Friday, February 16th from 12:00-1:00pm PST
Tuesday, February 20th from 12:00-1:00pm PST
Wednesday, February 28th from 12:00-1:00pm PST

March Practice and Feedback

Call in on: 1-866-512-0904, 5205632#
Tuesday, March 6th from 12:00-1:00pm PST
Wednesday, March 14th from 12:00-1:00pm PST
Tuesday, March 20th from 12:00-1:00pm PST
Thursday, March 29th from 12:00-1:00pm PST

Here you will find all the information you need to schedule your certification attempt.

Please ensure you read all the directions carefully.


  1. PLEASE ADJUST TIME ZONE as needed. (This is an option when you see the calendar.)
  2. This is not a POLL, it is an appointment book. Choose 1 and only 1 day & time that no one else has chosen.
  3. You will receive an email confirming your choice.
  4. Call 1 866-512-0904 + Passcode (You will receive your passcode in the confirmation email)

During certification, you will demonstrate your skills with a standardized patient (trained to play a patient role). Be ready to demonstrate the three questions and five skills of Brief Action Planning: Behavioral Menu, SMART Planning, Eliciting a Commitment Statement, Problem-Solving for Low Confidence, and Follow Up.

See also the Additional Resources section (bottom of this page), particularly the BAP Guide, Flow Chart, Videos and Skills Checklist.

To change or cancel your certification appointment please locate the confirmation email you received in your inbox and respond to the sender with instructions to cancel or alter your scheduling. We require 48 hours notice for all alterations.

Additional Resources

The Brief Action Planning Guide describes the process in detail and the Brief Action Planning Flow Chart provides an overview.

Language Document Links
English Guide / Flow Chart
French Guide / Flow Chart
Punjabi Guide / Flow Chart
Chinese – Simplified Guide / Flow Chart
Chinese – Traditional Guide / Flow Chart
Spanish Guide / Flow Chart
Russian Guide / Flow Chart
German Guide / Flow Chart

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.

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

“Checking in on my Plan” Worksheet

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

CCMI has collaborated with Patient Voices Network Volunteers ( to create a tool to help patients and clinicians work at making an action plan fro behaviour change using the concepts form 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

Community Setting Examples

The following videos are demonstrations of BAP in various settings.

Brief Action Planning: Seeking Information on Depression
24 September 2015
Brief Action Planning: Seeking Information on Depression - Follow-Up
24 September 2015
Brief Action Planning: Medication Reduction
24 September 2015
Brief Action Planning: Exercise (controlling blood sugars)
03 September 2015
Brief Action Planning: Weight Loss (Diet Change)
04 September 2015
Brief Action Planning: Exercise (Swimming)
04 September 2015
Brief Action Planning: Exercise (Stationary Bike)
04 September 2015

Chinese (Cantonese) Language Videos

With English subtitles.

Brief Action Planning: Behavioral Menu and problem solving (Exercise: walking) Eng Subs
03 September 2015
Brief Action Planning: Check in with completion of action plan (Exercise-Swimming). Eng subs
03 September 2015

Punjabi Language Videos

With English subtitles.

Brief Action Planning: Diet Change (Replacing Roti with Brown Rice/Couscous) Eng Subs
03 September 2015
Brief Action Planning: Diet Change (Healthier Options) Eng Subs
03 September 2015
Brief Action Planning: Diet Change (Cutting Back on Sweet Food) Eng Subs
03 September 2015
Brief Action Planning: Check In - Eng Subs
03 September 2015

Musculoskeletal (MSK) Example

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. Download the Brief Action Planning MSK Videos Questions for Discussion for some questions to discuss about these four videos.

Brief Action Planning Osteoarthritis
28 August 2013
Brief Action Planning-Low Back Pain Example
27 August 2013
Brief Action Planning Example--Rheumatoid Arthritis
28 August 2013
Brief Action Planning Low Back Pain Follow Up Example
27 August 2013

Brief Action Planning and Electronic Medical Records

Dr. Bruce Hobson has incorporated BAP into his EMR. This video demonstrates what that looks like in his practice.

Self Management Documentation Aug 2013
07 November 2013

Brief Action Planning with Families

This video, created in a collaboration with the University of Illinois, College of Medicine at Peoria, the American Cancer Society and CCMI depicts BAP being used with a mother and son.

Brief Action Planning Pediatric Example
09 February 2016

Northern Health Videos

Northern Health made the following videos of Vanessa and Cheryl role-playing BAP with a woman who has diabetes and has a hard time taking her medications. Simple BAP, BAP with all of the skills and face-to-face follow are shown.

Brief Action Planning for a diabetic patient (1)
07 May 2012
• Brief Action Planning for a diabetic patient (2)
07 May 2012
Brief Action Planning for a diabetic patient (3)
07 May 2012


Read about BAP in the Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management.

Download: Gutnick et. al PDF

BAP White Paper

The White Paper (updated 2014-09-30) provides additional description and background about BAP: BAP White Paper

Pediatric Obesity Prevention in Primary Care

Published as part of the 2016 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting proceedings: Pediatric Obesity Prevention in Primary Care: Using Brief Action Planning & Family Nutrition Physical Activity Questionnaire and Christison – BAP Poster

Abstract: Pediatric Obesity Prevention in Primary Care: Employing Brief Action Planning with Obesigenic Behavior Screening