Planning and Setting Direction

Unlock your potential. Be a health leader.




Healthcare managers have a responsibility to adequately plan, execute and deliver positive patient outcomes and experience in a fiscally responsible and sustainable manner. In this course, you will gain valuable insight into the importance of planning and direction setting. As leaders, managers are required to manage day-to-day activities, as well as plan for the future. This course will explore the various management tools and techniques for planning, including how to develop various types of plans, how to stay on track, and how to execute effectively on the plans.

No organization can achieve their goals without proper planning and without the ability to adjust plans when the environment changes. 

Planning and Setting Direction at-a-glance

  • Delivered entirely online
  • Register at any time
  • Approximately 25 hours of learning, to be completed in up to 4 months
  • Innovatively weaves leadership throughout using the LEADS in a Caring Environment Leadership Framework
  • Webinars from subject matter experts from across Canada
  • “Keys to Success” videos created specifically for this course by prominent Canadian healthcare leaders.
  • This course is part of the Management Essentials Program. For more information about the Management Essentials Program click here

Who should take Planning and Setting Direction?

This course is intended for new or aspiring managers from:

  • across the continuum of care (eg., from health promotion to long-term care)
  • healthcare organizations supporting the health system at all levels (eg., local to national organizations)
  • ministries of health and health regions.

Participants may include:

  • regulated and non-regulated health professionals (eg., nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacy technicians, medical laboratory technologists, etc.)
  • project or program managers
  • departmental managers in health organizations (eg., purchasing, housekeeping, facilities, etc.)
  • health analysts (eg., business, program, policy)
  • health research managers
  • anyone who is interested in enhancing or refreshing their existing management and leadership knowledge.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of appropriate planning when leading a healthcare team.
  • Understand and describe the various types of plans within an organization, and within a specific team.
  • Understand the process of developing operational plans.
  • Recognize the value of direction setting, what it involves, and how to communicate direction.
  • Understand when to adjust plans and how to communicate the changes to your team.
  • Understand and describe the key components of decision making and understand how decision making can be used to resolve day-to-day management issues.
  • Understand the principles of change management, and how it can be applied.


There are no awards available for this course or program at this time. Click here to learn more about student awards.


 Bruce MaitlandAbout
 Dan MerrittAbout
 Tracy MurphyAbout
 Wendy CampbellAbout



English is the language of instruction for all CHA Learning courses. It is therefore recommended that students be competent in reading, writing and speaking English.


Students must have basic computer knowledge and internet navigation skills; and access to a computer with Window 7 or higher.

Please note:

  • Students choosing to use Mac or Linux operating system must have experience using alternate remote access software.
  • CHA Learning staff can only assist Windows operating system users and provide technical support in relation to our website; we do not provide technical support for the Internet and/or basic computer use.

Other technical requirements:

CHA Learning Technical Requirements
Screen Resolution800×600 (minimum); 1024×768 (recommended)
Internet BrowsersThe most recent version of one of the following:

Google Chrome
Internet Explorer
Microsoft Edge
Plug-insPop-up blocker: disabled
Java Script: Enabled
Cookies: Enabled
Internet Connection Broadband (cable or DSL) connection required
SoftwareWord processing software, Adobe Reader
Recommend knowledge and comfort using Microsoft Excel

Enrolment Process

To enrol:

  1. Click on the enrol/apply button
  2. Add the product to your cart
  3. Create an account if you are new to CHA Learning or sign in to your existing account
  4. Complete the Billing Information page
  5. Enter your payment information, accept the terms and conditions and make your payment
  6. Within seven business days you will receive an email with instructions to access the course/program materials.

Note: If you are interested in enrolling in other individual Management Essentials courses, please visit the course pages for more information.

For more information about the Management Essentials Program, please click here.


Grading includes tests, assignments, graded discussion forums and webinars. To achieve a certificate, students must complete the course, pass each graded component with 60% or greater, and achieve a 60% or greater on the overall grade.

Course Certificate

CHA Learning will award students a certificate of successful completion of the course.


Individual course:

  • $495 for Canadians
  • $695 for International students

2 courses:

  • $795 for Canadians
  • $995 for International students

3 courses:

  • $1,295 for Canadians
  • $1,495 for International students

For more information about the Management Essentials Program, please click here.


This course includes the following topics:

  • Importance of planning and setting direction
  • Operational and departmental plans
  • Key activities in planning projects
  • Building effective plans
  • Direction setting
  • Change management
  • Decision making
  • Executing on plans and achieving benefits