PDSA Cycles


What is it?

PDSA stands for


It is a way of structuring the process of testing ideas and changes. These cycles do not need to be long and can build upon each other. It is the model used within Lothian alongside the model for improvement.

Why use it?

Having a structure around trying changes can increase its chances for success. It helps people to work through tests in a methodical, organised way.

How to use it?

There are a number of templates available that can help you to document your PDSA cycles.  See the links below for further information and templates.


More information

Quality Improvement Zone NES - click for a different way of explaining how to use PDSA cycles.

IHI - click for more information explaining what PDSA cycles are.

NHS Improvement - click for more information about PDSA cycles.

Want to know more about PDSA cycles? Want some help implementing your own?

Contact the team