Acting as a Change Agent

Effects of a Customized Training Program to Develop the Skills of Health and Social Services Professionals

  • Virginie Savaria
  • Emmanuelle Jasmin
  • Anne Hudon
  • Denis Bédard
  • Marie-Josée Drolet
  • Michaël Beaudoin
  • Emmanuelle Jasmin
  • Étienne Lavoie-Trudeau
  • Annie Carrier Université de Sherbrooke
Keywords: change agency, change agent, professional practice, co-development


Background: Acting as a change agent (CA) is a key role for Health and Social Services (HSS) professionals. It involves working collaboratively with actors across and outside the HSS system and influencing decision-makers. However, this role requires specific skills that HSS professionals generally feel that they have not mastered. The overarching goal of this research partnership is to explore the development of CA skills by HSS professionals using a customized training program.

Methods/Design: Through a research partnership, 128 HSS professionals will receive 7 hours of training using a professional co-development approach and a checklist. The immediate and medium-term effects of the training on their skills development will be evaluated with a self-administered questionnaire before and immediately following the training and again nine months later. The data will be analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Discussion: This study will shed light on the effects of a customized training program on CA skills development. It will also have three main benefits: (1) development of an easy-to-reuse CA training program and checklist; (2) partner’s ownership of these products through close involvement; and (3) development of a sustainable partnership between a team of researchers and a recognized organization with an extensive HSS network.