This situation is not unusual. For many professionals, continuing professional development opportunities are provided by very short courses because managers cannot afford the loss of staff time. This sort of training is not always efficient, with many participants evaluating the training in terms of 'going on the course' or of sitting through the training when the fundamental issue is whether or not they are able to change their practice as a result of the learning. It was evident in this case that participants on health promotion courses would frequently return to their work situations to be confronted with a backlog of the work missed and sometimes a sense from their colleagues that 'well, you've had your time off now'. The time when they have just arrived back from a course with enthusiasm for change and ideas fresh in their minds is critical for the possibility of new practice being implemented. Participants need time to reflect on what they have learnt and how change can occur. Their new ideas need to be actioned, they need support from their managers and colleagues and lower-than-usual workloads rather than backlogs (HEA, et aI., 1995; Moon, 1996a).