A Guide to Support Implementation:
Essential Conditions

 Addressing the Essential Conditions

Intentionally addressing the essential conditions requires that education stakeholders collaborate to:

  • Answer several guiding questions as they develop their implementation plans
  • Use a variety of implementation strategies that identify who will be responsible for what, by when and at what cost
  • Establish what evidence will be accepted that the essential conditions have been addressed

powerpoint-icon  Overview of Essential Conditions

This PowerPoint presentation, developed by the Alberta Teachers’ Association, provides an overview that can be used to introduce collaborative working groups to the essential conditions model.



Characteristics of Successful Implementation

As education policies, curricula, priorities, programs and initiatives evolve, they need to be successfully implemented to ensure student learning success. Research shows that successful implementation:

  • Is a shared responsibility among stakeholders
  • Is developmental and contextual
  • Is systematically planned, systemic and sustained
  • Is meaningful, purposeful and focused on key priorities
  • Involves learning opportunities that focus on enhancing professional practice and leadership capacity among educators
  • Involves a variety of learning opportunities by and for all education stakeholders including support staff, students, parents, school councils and community members
  • Involves change at both organizational and individual levels

A variety of implementation planning templates have been developed to support school and district leaders with implementation of various initiatives. These planning templates, including some from High School Redesign, can be adapted for many initiatives and support school and district leaders with the implementation journey.


Getting Ready for Implementation

1-2 hours with group involved with change

Are we ready for the changes we are imagining? Has a need been identified that the team can rally around and commit energy for implementation? The Hexagon tool is adapted, with permission, from the National Implementation Research Network. It is intended to be used at the beginning of a change initiative to facilitate dialogue with a team around “readiness for change.” It helps to set the stage for commitment and the development of an implementation plan.



1-2 hours individually or with group involved with change

The self-assessment template is used to identify where you are in terms of addressing the essential conditions for the successful implementation of a current curriculum, priority, policy, program or initiative. The right-hand column is used to describe the evidence used to support self-assessment and goals for further work to support implementation.



Personal and Team Planning and Reflections

1-2 hours on your own or with a small group

Do you have an implementation plan? Have you started on the journey of change and want to see where you are at? This tool is intended to be used to support implementation planning or as a self/small group reflection of where you are at during the implementation journey.



Facilitated Reflection and Planning Tools

1-2 days with an external facilitator onsite based on conversations with school team members

The implementation conversation tool and process is intended to provide a more in-depth reflection of the implementation journey with the support of an external facilitator, who can bring an objective perspective and provide data summary and sharing of the findings. The result is a plan for next steps, based on the process and data collected from interviews. The findings can be used to improve implementation practice and are presented as “reflection conversation starters.”



Implementation Tools


Successful implementation is complex work requiring coherence among several plans and priorities. Provincial policy requires that all certificated teachers develop annual professional growth plans based on self-assessments of their learning needs relative to the Teaching Quality Standard.

School boards and jurisdictions are required to develop annual education plans. Professional growth plans and annual education plans also need to align with evolving provincial education goals. Annual education plans need to specify how jurisdiction professional development plans will support implementation of school board and provincial goals. The Implementation Planning Tools can assist with the development of these individual, school and jurisdiction education plans.