Reflective practice

Reflective practice is a process of thinking clearly, honestly, deeply, and critically about any aspect of our professional practice. It requires committing to creating space to reflect on one’s work and has long been recognised as an integral part of safety and quality.

Reflective practice is considered good practice and is foundational to processing the challenges of high stress and high risk associated with healthcare work.

For example, reflective practice directly strengthens our work in patient safety and quality using structure reflective processes to consider things such as:

  • Process the factors underpinning failures,
  • Identify opportunities for learning,
  • Distinguish accountability,
  • See the interplay of culture and
  • Strengthen teamwork.


CEC has developed a suite of resources to support the development of reflective practice skills. This includes tools and tips sheets that guide the application of reflective skills in different contexts e.g., as an individual; with peers; or within your supervision.

Download the CEC Reflective Practice Workbook.

Tip sheets

Key qualities to build a reflective practice mindset (PDF)

Use this tip sheet to develop a reflective mindset when joining a reflective practice session either as a host or practitioner.

Creating reflective space (PDF)

Use this tip sheet if hosting a reflective practice session (1:1 or in a group) and want to create a safe space to reflect.

Getting in-sync (PDF)

Use this tip sheet when hosting a reflective practice session (1:1 or in a group).

Empathetic listening (PDF)

Use this tip sheet to deepen your listening skills.

Asking impactful questions (PDF)

Use this tip sheet to consider the types of questions you might ask to help you reveal new insights and deepen understanding.

Question bank (PDF)

These questions can be used to help guide individual reflective practice such as when journalling or preparing to bring a topic to a reflective practice session.

Considering multiple perspectives (PDF)

The tip sheet can help a person better understand someone else’s view or feelings before acting.

Building a shared understanding (PDF)

Use this tip sheet when building a shared understanding of the issue being raised in a reflective practice session.

Resetting our state (PDF)

Use this tip sheet as a stepped guide for generating a feel of 'The Third Space'.

Emotional regulation (PDF)

Use this tip sheet to help you take control of intense emotions.

Positive reframing to shift mindset (PDF)

Use this tip sheet when helping someone in a reflective practice session move beyond automatic negative thoughts to more constructive ways of thinking.